The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board has voted to move forward construction of a new Federal Inspection Services facility at San Diego International Airport (SAN).
The facility will be built within Terminal 2 West to house customs and border protection, as well as other international passenger arrival service.
An accelerated work schedule has been deemed necessary due to the faster-than-expected growth of international arriving passengers with the introduction of new international nonstop air service.
SAN welcomes more than 300,000 international passengers annually, which is projected to grow to 400,000 by 2024 and could exceed 650,000 by 2036.
April Boling, Airport Authority Board chairwoman, said, “We are enjoying great success is building a network of nonstop air service around the globe, connecting families, friends and travelers to San Diego.
“The new facility will not only help operationally accommodate increased demand, but improve the processing experience for passengers with reduced wait times and a more welcoming environment.”
In 2018, international air travel is anticipated to contribute US$432m in annual economic impact to the region. If all the projected international routes are added, that impact is predicted to exceed US$1bn by 2037.
According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, international visitors to San Diego stay 30% longer and spend 43% more than domestic visitors.