The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has opened a new 130,000ft² International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at Terminal 2 of San Diego International Airport in the US.
The new facility, which involved an investment of $229.4m, will allow the airport to manage the increase in international passengers.
During the past quarter of a century, the airport’s international arrivals increased from nearly 50,000 passengers a year in the early 1990s to more than 400,000 per annum last year.
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO Kimberly Becker said: “As airlines look to add to their international networks, it is vital we have adequate facilities readily available to compete and attract new air service.
“With twice the number of international gates, the latest technologies, and an expanded baggage claim and passenger wait area, this new facility ensures we are equipped to provide a world-class experience for international passengers arriving into San Diego.”
The new facility is nearly five times the size of the previous IAF and increases the number of international gates at the airport from three to six. It is hoped this will cut passenger waiting times.
This is to be further aided by the implementation of the latest security technologies, such as biometric processing, which is deployed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
The facility also includes two integrated public artworks, namely Paths Woven, by artist Aaron Stephan and Carry On by artist Walter Hood.
CBP San Diego Field Operations deputy director Anne Maricich said: “We are one of the first in the nation to implement 100% biometric or facial recognition technology for arriving international flights. Not only will this simplify the arrival process, it is a critical step in our national security mission.”
The new IAF will serve British Airways, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Alaska Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines.