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December 14, 2021

San Diego Airport begins work on $3.4bn terminal project

The project would create 15,000 to 20,000 jobs during the construction phase.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which owns and operates San Diego International Airport (SAN), has broken ground on the $3.4bn New Terminal 1 (New T1) project at the airport.

This project will replace the old Terminal 1, upgrade the airfield, enhance road connectivity to the airport.

Additionally, it includes the construction of a new facility for the Airport Authority administration.

Terminals and roadways, airside improvements and a new administration building are the three components of New T1.

The work is anticipated to create 15,000 to 20,000 jobs during the construction phase.

Initially, the focus will be on constructing the administration building, which is expected to open in late 2023.

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For this project, the Airport Authority has appointed Sundt Construction company, with HOK serving as the lead architect.

The first phase of the terminal and roadways component will see the creation of 19 gates, outdoor check-in pavilions, a five-storey parking plaza, an elevated departures roadway, as well as an on-airport arrivals roadway and is expected to open in mid-2025.

The second phase of the project will see an addition of 11 gates, with the opening anticipated in late 2027.

It will be delivered by Turner-Flatiron, a joint venture (JV) with Gensler serving as the lead architect.

The airside improvements are expected to facilitate better aircraft movements and ground traffic flow for the new terminal and it is expected to complete in mid-2028.

Airfield improvements will also see the installation of an underground fuel-delivery system, stormwater capture and reuse system, which is expected to reduce airports greenhouse gas emission levels.

Additionally, the NewT1 project will comprise pre and post-security passenger connectors to Terminal 2, a 13-lane security checkpoint, an outdoor patio at the post-security area, lounges, clubs and a children’s play area.

One of the important aspects of the project is the creation of a three-lane on-airport access roadway, which is expected to establish direct connectivity to the airport from Laurel Street, thereby reducing 45,000 vehicles daily on Harbor Drive.

Airport Authority has also allocated some space for a future transit station.

Furthermore, the project scope includes an electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle and pedestrian path on Harbor Drive, as well as bicycle parking spaces.

Once completed, the New T1 and the rest of the airport will utilise 100% renewable, carbon-free electricity.

With these green initiatives, the Airport Authority aims to gain the US Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification for the project.

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