SAN DIEGO — San Diego International Airport’s new Terminal One is nearly halfway to takeoff. Airport officials confirmed the new terminal is about 40% done.
“We’re about 40% of the way there already, still have two years to go, but seeing the structure rise from the ground and getting a good sense of what it’s going to look like is very exciting,” said Gill Cabrera, chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors.
To commemorate the milestone of completing the construction on the structural steel, airport and city leaders signed the last steel beam.
“Tradition in the construction industry is to have everyone involved in the process, sign the last beam and at some point later, hoist it up and it will be the last structural beam,” Cabrera said.
Construction began in 2021 on the $3.4 billion project. The new terminal will have 30 gates, 19 of them are expected to open in summer 2025, which will complete the first phase. Then, the old terminal will be demolished and the remaining 11 gates will be done by 2028.
Along with 19 gates when phase one is completed, a parking plaza, elevated departures roadway, outdoor check-in pavilions and a dedicated on-airport arrivals roadway are also scheduled to be completed at the same time.
The new parking plaza at Terminal One is scheduled to open in late 2024, and is so far, about 45% completed. The structure will have 5,200 parking spaces and is five stories tall. About 10% of the parking spaces will have electric vehicle chargers.
“We are the busiest single-runway airport in the country and the way that we can get more capacity is to have more gates, so Terminal One will add to the number of gates in our city, and our airport and that will allow myself, folks like our chamber of commerce, our economic development corporation, to go out and sell San Diego and say if you want to create a direct flight to San Diego, we have space for you,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said.
More gates, means more flights, which means more revenue for the city. The airport has a $12 billion economic impact on the community and employs around 8,000 San Diegans, according to Gloria. Gloria said the “tourist tax” is money San Diego gets to keep and doesn’t have to share — an important part of the city’s budget.
“That’s the money I use to pave roads, help homeless people, make sure we have police officers and firefighters, so when we have more gates, with more flights, with more visitors, that means more money to solve the challenges we face as a city,” Gloria added.
Delta Airlines said it will triple its space for Delta customers within the new terminal.
Southwest Airlines confirmed with FOX 5 Wednesday they will be looking into growing its presence in San Diego when the new terminal is completed.
“We are always looking to grow here, we are looking forward to adding capacity in San Diego,” Southwest Airlines Vice President of Airport Affairs Steve Sisneros said in an interview with FOX 5. “San Diego is very important to Southwest.”