US: Steel Structure Completed for SAN’s New Terminal 1

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has celebrated the completion of the steel structure for the first phase of the new Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport (SAN).

To mark this milestone, officials gathered to sign one of the final steel beams for this structure.

The ‘Topping Out’ celebration at SAN's new Terminal 1
The ‘Topping Out’ celebration at SAN’s new Terminal 1
Airport Authority Board Chair Gil Cabrera said:

“This ‘Topping Out’ celebration symbolises the completion of the New T1 steel framework. But it actually represents more than just the progress being made on the New T1 building, it represents progress toward providing this dynamic binational region with the air transportation infrastructure it needs and deserves.”

This project includes replacing SAN’s outdated Terminal 1, improving the airfield, improving transportation connectivity to the airport, and building a new facility for the Airport Authority administration.

The first phase is scheduled to open in late summer 2025. It will include the construction of 19 gates, a parking plaza, an elevated departures roadway, outdoor check-in pavilions and a dedicated, on-airport arrivals roadway.

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

With the steel structure complete, curved glass panels are now being fitted on the façade of the new terminal to form a ‘Luminous Wave,’ which will be 32 feet tall and 900 feet long. This was designed by Public Artist/Architect James Carpenter and Gensler to control the heat, sunlight, and glare for those inside the building.

Upon completion, the entire New T1 project will feature more security checkpoint lanes, more gate-area seating, an outdoor patio area with views of the airfield, up to two lounges/clubs, and a children’s play area.

The second phase is scheduled to open in 2028 and will add a further 11 gates for a total of 30 gates.

Kimberly Becker, Airport Authority President and CEO said:

“This project milestone would not be possible without the efforts of our Airport Authority Board and staff, our airline partners and the thousands who work for the Turner-Flatiron joint venture and its subcontractors. Thank you to all of our partners who have a hand in this massive undertaking. We can't wait to come back in 2025 and cut the ribbon on this critically needed terminal.”

In addition to the substantial progress on the new terminal building, the project’s T1 parking plaza is currently 45 percent complete and is scheduled to open in late 2024.  This five-story structure will provide 5,200 parking spaces, 10 percent of which will be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, construction is also underway on a three-lane on-airport access roadway.

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