San Diego International Airport Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Terminal 1

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority have held a groundbreaking celebration for the new Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport.

The new project includes replacing the outdated Terminal 1, improving the airfield, improving transportation connectivity to the airport, and building  a new facility for the Airport Authority administration.

Gil Cabrera, Airport Authority Board Chair, said:

“We are thrilled to commemorate this historic day and celebrate the tremendous planning effort that went into reaching this point. I’m proud of the Airport Authority team and their unwavering commitment to bring San Diego a new Terminal 1. The airport is often the first and last impression we get to make as a city, and I can assure you the New T1 will be something that the region can be proud of.”

Groundbreaking at San Diego International Airport
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority held a groundbreaking celebration on the 13th December 2021 for the new T1

The New T1 is divided into three components: Terminal and Roadways, Airside Improvements, and a new Administration Building.

Administration Building

The Administration Building will be the first building to be completed within the New T1 programme with an anticipated opening date in late 2023. It will be delivered by Sundt Construction, Inc. with HOK as the lead architect.

The existing Airport administration building needs demolishing to enable construction on the proposed Terminal and Roadways and Airside Improvements projects. The Authority will therefore be efficiently relocated in a new four story building to prevent delay to the airport projects.

Terminal and Roadways

The Terminal and Roadways project will be completed in phases. The first phase will include 19 gates, an elevated departures roadway, outdoor check-in pavilions, a dedicated, on-airport arrivals roadway, and a five-story parking plaza. The earliest opening for the first phase is in mid-2025. The second phase will add 11 gates for a total of 30 gates. The earliest opening for the second phase is in late 2027.

San Diego International Airport Terminal 1
New T1 Aerial View Looking Southwest

Airside Improvements

The Airside Improvements component will allow for more efficient aircraft movements and ground traffic flow for the new terminal. The earliest completion date for all projects within the Airside Improvements component will be mid-2028.

San Diego International Airport Terminal 1
The New T1 project includes improvements to the airfield as well as improved transportation connectivity to the airport

The New T1 will feature pre-and post-security passenger connectors to Terminal 2, a new parking plaza that will provide up to 5,200 parking spaces, an expansive security checkpoint with 13 lanes, an outdoor patio area post-security providing views of the airfield, San Diego Bay and downtown, up to two airline or common-use lounges/clubs, and a children’s play area.

The New T1 project will also feature a three-lane on-airport access roadway that will take traffic from Laurel Street directly to the airport, removing 45,000 vehicles a day from Harbor Drive. A dual-level roadway and curb front to separate arriving and departing passenger traffic with an elevated departures roadway and curbside check-in will also be integrated. In addition, the Airport Authority has preserved a space for a future transit station, giving the airport even more direct accessibility. Recently, SAN launched an all-electric shuttle bus service between the airport and Old Town Transit Center, providing a convenient, last-mile transit solution.

San Diego International Airport Terminal 1
Approach B to the new Terminal 1

The entire New T1 project will incorporate energy and water conservation and clear air initiatives. Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle and pedestrian path on Harbor Drive, bicycle parking spaces, airfield improvements resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions, an underground fuel-delivery system, and a stormwater capture and reuse system are included in the plans. Alike to the rest of the airport, the New T1 will be powered by 100 percent renewable, carbon-free electricity. Through these efforts, the Airport Authority’s goal is to achieve the US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for the project.

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