San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board has approved the Environmental Impact Report to replace Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport in California, the US.

The Board of Directors unanimously gave their approval for the $3bn airport development plan (ADP).

The new terminal, which will replace the existing 53-year old terminal, will have 30 gates compared to the 19 gates in the existing building.

The terminal is expected to provide better seating, restaurants and shops, along with extra security checkpoints, added lanes and other upgrades to increase energy efficiency.

In addition, the ADP includes improvements to the roadway and transportation to ease airport access.

It proposes an on-airport entry road that is expected to eliminate 45,000 cars daily from Harbor Drive.

Airport Authority Board chairman April Boling said: “Today we took an important vote that will help ensure our airport can accommodate expected passenger growth well into the future and ensure our customers and their families are treated to a better airport experience than today’s Terminal 1 can provide.

“The plan will also ensure the airport can continue to function as an economic engine for the region for decades to come.”

San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1 has witnessed the most growth since its opening in 1967. In its first year of operations, the terminal was accessed by 2.5 million passengers, while 12 million passengers entered Terminal 1 last year.

The whole airport welcomed 25 million passengers last year, of which one million were international passengers.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board sent a request to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval to use airport revenues to fund the off-airport roadway and transit projects.

The ADP is in accordance with the Climate Action Plan of San Diego.

Under the plan, the airport will be equipped with expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle path on Harbor Drive and incentives to encourage alternative commuting habits among airport employees.

The airport plans to start construction next year and expects to open its first phase with 19 gates in 2024.