San Diego releases green study

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San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has released a revised draft environmental study for its Airport Development Plan (ADP) for the replacement of Terminal 1.

The new Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) incorporates new information gathered over the past year through more than 100 meetings with regional partner agencies, community stakeholders and others. The original DEIR was issued in July 2018.

One major issue related to the ADP has been transit connectivity to San Diego International Airport. The Airport Authority believes a strong connection to the region’s transit system is extremely important for its passengers, for the 9,400 people who work at the airport, and for overall traffic circulation in the area around it.

To that end, the Airport Authority is working with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and other regional agencies to assist in their efforts to determine the best transit solution for carrying people to the airport. The Airport Authority has set aside space between the terminals for a transit station that could connect to a project chosen by regional transportation planning agencies. The designated transit station area will be able to accommodate whatever type of system is ultimately chosen by SANDAG and the other agencies.

In addition, the Airport Authority will launch an all-electric shuttle fleet that will carry transit passengers from the Old Town Transit Center to the airport and back. This service is set to launch in early 2020. A proposed on-airport access road will remove an estimated 45,000 cars per day from North Harbor Drive. The ADP also sets aside right-of-way for outbound lanes.

The revised ADP is better aligned with the City’s Climate Action Plan. Initiatives include expanded electric vehicle charging infrastructure, a bicycle path and new incentives to promote alternative commuting habits among employees.

The Airport Authority has completed a plan to address the impact of higher sea levels, more intense rainfall and extreme heat. For example, there is a plan to expand stormwater systems that provide the ability to capture and reuse more than 39 million gallons of rain annually. The authority is also partnering with Scripps Institution of Oceanography to monitor sea levels using advanced sensors in San Diego Bay.

After a 45-day period to gather public comments on the revised DEIR, the Airport Authority aims to present the report to the Airport Authority Board for certification by early 2020.

The California Coastal Commission and federal environmental approvals processes will follow, and if all approvals are secured, the Airport Authority aims to break ground in 2021 and open the first phase of the new Terminal 1 (19 gates) by 2024.

The revised DEIR can be viewed at, or by clicking here:

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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