San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has inaugurated its 130,000ft² (12,000m²) International Arrivals Facility (IAF) at Terminal 2 (T2) at San Diego International Airport, California.
The US$229m building is nearly five times the size of the previous IAF and increases the number of international gates at the airport from three to six, helping to reduce passenger wait times. This is further helped by the implementation of the latest security technologies being deployed by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The facility also features two integrated public artworks– Paths Woven by Aaron T Stephan and Carry On by Walter Hood.
“We are one of the first airports in the USA to implement 100% biometric facial recognition technology for arriving international flights,” said Anne Maricich, deputy director of field operations for San Diego Airport. “Not only will this simplify the arrival process, but it is also a critical step in our national security mission.”
San Diego Airport has experienced substantial growth in international arrivals, from about 50,000 passengers a year in the early 1990s to more than 400,000 in 2017. That number will continue to grow as more international nonstop flights are added.
Kimberly Becker, president/CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, 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 services. 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 at San Diego.”
Expanded international air service is a key goal for the airport authority. It currently offers nonstop flights to Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada and the UK. The new facility will serve British Airways, Edelweiss Air, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.