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SAN DIEGO – Starting April 1st, Uber and Lyft will be allowed to pick up passengers at San Diego International Airport as a part of a pilot program, a San Diego City Councilman announced.

Councilman David Alvarez said city officials approved a pilot program Thursday to allow drivers of ride-sharing services to pick up passengers who contact them through their app.

Previously, guidelines would not allow ride-sharing drivers to pick up passengers at Lindbergh Field. However, they were able to drop them off at the airport.

“It’s a free enterprise – the customer can choose but they have to be regulated,” said veteran Orange Cab driver, Safaa Saleh. “Drug test, fingerprint, homeland security, and the most important thing – the passengers inside the car covered with $1,000,000 policy. We don’t mind anyone to operate but they have to be regulated as we do,” said Saleh.

According to the Airport Authority ride-share drivers who are given the permit will be recruited to pay a fee, undergo background checks, and car inspections.

“What we have said at the airport is that the insurance coverage must be the same as the cab drivers, no different,” said Alvarez.

“We want to provide all transportation service options that passengers desire but we need to do so in a safe and controlled environment,” according to Lindbergh Field spokesperson Rebecca Bloomfield.

Airport officials plan to designate an area for Lyft and Uber pick-up within the terminal parking lots.

The pilot program is slated to run until June 30, 2016.

“The new airport TNC operational model will add a new dimension of passenger ground transportation app-enabled service that has not been previously attempted at SDIA,” the pilot program report stated.  Details regarding the pilot program were posted online.

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