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Construction Begins On San Diego End Of Cross-Border Air Terminal

Photo caption:

Photo by Jill Replogle

Construction begins in Otay Mesa on the cross-border air terminal, June 5, 2014.

Construction began this week on the cross-border air terminal that will connect Tijuana's international airport to the U.S.

Construction has begun in Otay Mesa on the cross-border airport terminal that will connect the Tijuana airport directly to the U.S.

Passengers from San Diego will be able to park their cars at the U.S. end of the terminal and walk across a bridge — and the border — directly to the Tijuana airport.

On the way back, U.S. customs and immigration authorities will check passports and bags at the terminal, and passengers will walk back over to the U.S., avoiding the long lines at the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa ports of entry.

The Tijuana airport offers flights to popular tourist destinations like Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, as well as to the international business hubs of Shanghai and Tokyo. The San Diego business community hopes the latter will help attract more foreign investment, particularly from Asia.

“A lot of the foreign companies when they come to invest ask us how easy it is to access their headquarters,” Cindy Gompper-Graves, CEO of the South County Economic Development Council, said.

“This opens up our options and we can show them that this is a wise investment.”

Unlike San Diego’s nearly maxed-out Lindbergh Field airport, Tijuana’s airport currently operates at about 60 percent capacity, Gompper-Graves said, so there’s room for increased traffic.

The terminal could be open at the end of 2015.

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