SAN gives go-ahead to Turner-Flatiron for $2.6 billion new airport terminal

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The San Diego County Regional Airport (SAN) Board of Directors has unanimously approved the maximum contract price and master project schedule for the design and construction of a new airport terminal to replace the existing Terminal 1 and related improvements.

The airport’s board approved a maximum contract price of $2.6 billion to the Turner-Flatiron joint venture, the airport said in a statement after it approved the contract on Oct. 7.

Only one remaining authorization is needed to begin construction: completion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. It is anticipated that the FAA will complete its NEPA review of the project later in October and, if so, construction could begin as early as November.

The New T1 project is estimated to create between 15,000 to 20,000 jobs for local workers. Through the airport authority’s Small Business Development program, 25 percent of the awarded contract value will go to small business enterprises, 80 percent will go to local businesses, and 3 percent to veteran-owned small businesses.

“The airport is a major economic driver for the region and the New T1 will make our city more attractive to the millions of people who want to visit and also provide a better travel experience for San Diegans,” board chair Gil Cabrera said. “This project will provide well-paying jobs and numerous contracting opportunities that will aid in the region’s economic recovery. On behalf of the rest of the board, I want to recognize the efforts of the Airport Authority team to advance the New T1 during this extraordinary time.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport authority has carefully and cautiously continued planning for the replacement of our existing, 54-year-old Terminal 1,” said SAN president and CEO Kimberly Becker.

As the airport’s only terminal when it was built in 1967, it served 2.5 million passengers in its first year. In 2019, the same Terminal 1 served more than 12 million passengers.

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The airport authority said in a statement that it has set aside space between the terminals for a transit station that could connect to a transit project chosen by regional transportation planning agencies.

The new terminal will include 30 gates, a refreshed collection of food and beverage, news, gifts, and retail concessions, as well as more security checkpoint lanes. It also includes improvements to the airport’s roadways system, making it easier for all vehicular, bus, bike, and pedestrian traffic to enter and exit the airport and a parking plaza which will handle several ground transportation services.

If all goes as planned, the first 19 gates are expected to be operational in July 2025 and then the construction of the remaining 11 gates will begin that same month. The project is expected to be completed in June 2028.

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