Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Airport authority 'tops out' on San Diego Airport's Terminal 1 project

Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport is shown in this undated conceptional rendering.
San Diego International Airport
Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport is shown in this undated conceptional rendering.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority was joined Wednesday by local officials and business leaders to celebrate the completion of the steel structure of the first phase of the new Terminal 1.

To mark the milestone, officials signed a steel beam that will be among the final beams installed in the first phase.

"This `topping out' celebration symbolizes the completion of the New T1 steel framework," Airport Authority Board Chair Gil Cabrera said. "But it actually represents more than just the progress being made on the new T1 building, it represents progress toward providing this dynamic binational region with the air transportation infrastructure it needs and deserves."


According to the airport authority, the first phase is scheduled to open in late summer 2025 and will offer 19 gates, a parking plaza, an elevated departures roadway, outdoor check-in pavilions and a dedicated arrivals roadway.

"This project milestone would not be possible without the efforts of our Airport Authority Board and staff, our airline partners and the thousands who work for the Turner-Flatiron joint venture and its subcontractors," said Kimberly Becker, authority president and CEO. "Thank you to all of our partners who have a hand in this massive undertaking. We can't wait to come back in 2025 and cut the ribbon on this critically needed terminal."

Cabrera and Becker were joined by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, leaders from Southwest and Delta airlines as well as Turner Construction.

The T1 parking plaza is around 45% complete and is scheduled to open in late 2024. This five-story structure will offer 5,200 parking spaces. Ten percent of parking spaces in the new parking structure will be equipped with charging stations for electric vehicles.

According to the authority, construction is also underway on a three- lane on-airport access roadway that will take traffic from Laurel Street directly to the airport, removing 45,000 vehicles a day from Harbor Drive.


"This will connect to a dual-level roadway and curb front that will separate arriving and departing passenger traffic with an elevated departures roadway and curbside outdoor check-in," officials said.

Curved glass panels are being installed on the facade of the new terminal, part of the "Luminous Wave" curtain wall, composed of 689 glazing units that when fully assembled will result in a glass wall that is 32 feet tall, and 900 feet long and that will help control heat, sunlight and glare for those inside the building.

A total of 19 new restaurants and retail stores will open in the first phase of the terminal. Around 500 contracted construction companies and about 5,000 workers have been hired to work on the construction of the first phase.

The second phase is scheduled to open in 2028 and will add 11 more gates for a total of 30 gates in the new T1.

"The entire new T1 project will feature more security checkpoint lanes, more gate-area seating, an outdoor patio area post-security providing views of the airfield, San Diego Bay and downtown; up to two airline or common- use lounges/clubs, and a children's play area," the airport authority statement read. "Site-specific public art will be created by six commissioned artists and will be integrated into the design."