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San Diego airport announces plans for $2.6bn terminal replacement

A plane landing at San Diego International Airport (Anar Mammadov/Dreamstime)
San Diego County Regional Airport has announced the award of a contract worth up to $2.6bn for the design and construction of a replacement for its Terminal 1.

This building was built in 1967, when it comfortably accommodated 2.5 million passengers a year. However, it struggled to process 12 million in 2019, before the pandemic struck.

The development will be carried out by a joint venture of two American subsidiaries of Germany’s Hochtief: Flatiron and Turner Construction. It will contain 30 gates, extra security checkpoint lanes as well as the usual restaurants and shops.

Work on the project also includes improvements to the airport’s transit systems, including vehicular, bus, bike and pedestrian access.

Gil Cabrera, the San Diego Airport Board’s chair, said: “The airport is a major economic driver for the region and the New T1 will make our city more attractive to the millions of people who want to visit and also provide a better travel experience for San Diegans.

“This project will provide well-paying jobs and numerous contracting opportunities that will aid in the region’s economic recovery.”

Kimberly Becker, the airport’s president, said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Airport Authority has carefully and cautiously continued planning for the replacement of our 54-year-old Terminal 1.

“The New T1 will provide the customer experience people expect from San Diego by developing a terminal that is modern, efficient and built to serve the thousands of passengers expected over the next several years.”

The contract is subject to approval of the Federal Aviation Administration’s National Environmental Policy Act.

The terminal’s first 19 gates are expected to be operational by July 2025, after which construction of the remaining 11 gates will begin. The project is expected to be fully completed in June 2028.

Image: A plane landing at San Diego International Airport (Anar Mammadov/Dreamstime)

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