The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority board of directors has certified the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Airport Development Plan (ADP), which envisions the replacement of the 53-year-old Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport.
The new Terminal 1 is expected to have 30 gates, up from 19 in the existing terminal, and to represent a significant upgrade for passengers. It would offer more gate-area seating, restaurants and shops, as well as additional security checkpoints with more lanes and a host of energy-efficiency upgrades.
The ADP would also include numerous roadway and transportation improvements to make it easier for travelers to access the airport. A proposed on-airport entry road would remove an estimated 45,000 cars per day from Harbor Drive. The plan also includes right-of-way for outbound lanes, when needed.
The Airport Authority has been working with SANDAG, the Port District, the City of San Diego, MTS, NCTD, Caltrans, the County of San Diego and other regional agencies to assist in efforts to analyze circulation around the airport, as well as to determine the best transit solution for carrying passengers to the airport.
The Airport Authority has set aside space between the terminals for a transit station that could accommodate any regional transit system chosen by SANDAG and other regional planning agencies.
In addition, the Airport Authority will launch an all-electric shuttle fleet that will carry transit riders to and from the Old Town Transit Center. This service is scheduled to start in mid-2020. The authority has also submitted a request to the FAA to approve using airport revenues to help fund off-airport roadway and transit projects to ease access to airport.
The ADP is aligned with the City’s Climate Action Plan and will provide expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle path on Harbor Drive, and new incentives to promote alternative commuting habits among employees. The plan also focuses on air quality.
“Our emissions are now among the lowest in the country,” said Kim Becker, president/CEO of the Airport Authority. “In fact, we are one of only two airports in North America to achieve a carbon neutrality certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program.”
The Airport Authority has also completed a plan to address impacts from higher sea levels, more intense rainfall and extreme heat. Part of this plan includes a partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to monitor rising sea levels using advanced sensors in San Diego Bay.
Additionally there is a plan to expand stormwater systems that provide the ability to capture and reuse more than 39 million gallons of rain annually.
Next steps for the project include federal environmental review and consideration of a Coastal Development permit by the California Coastal Commission.
The goal is to break ground on the new terminal in 2021 and open the first phase, of 19 gates, in 2024.
San Diego International Airport is the busiest single-runway commercial airport in the USA and has seen record growth in passenger volumes over the past six years