A joint venture led by Turner Construction and Flatiron Constructors has been tapped to build San Diego International Airport’s new $2.265-billion terminal.
The 1.2 million-sq-ft, 30-gate project will replace the airport’s existing Terminal 1, which opened in 1967 with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers, a figure that has more than quadrupled over the past half-century. Pending receipt of federal and state environmental permits, plans call for construction to begin in late 2021. To maintain the airport’s existing operational capacity, the new terminal’s first 19-gate phase will be completed in 2025, with an additional 11 gates to be opened two years later.
In addition to expanding seating, retail options and passenger screening capacity, the new terminal will feature a range of sustainable and energy-efficient features, complementing the airport’s $1-billion Green Build expansion of Terminal 2, completed in 2013. Measures to help cut greenhouse gas emissions include redesigned taxiways and other airfield improvements to reduce aircraft taxiing times, and an underground aircraft fuel delivery system that will also speed gate turnaround time.
The terminal is the centerpiece of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s $3-billion airport redevelopment plan, being designed by Jacobs. Other facets of the program include airside capacity improvements landside roads, a 7,500-space parking structure, stormwater management systems, a security blast wall and associated utilities.
In addition, the authority has also developed 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.
After handling more than 25 million passengers in 2019, the airport saw passenger traffic drop by 90% at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. Volume has gradually rebounded over the summer, with current figures approximately 30% of those recorded 12 months ago.