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Terminal 1 Focus Of San Diego Airport Development Plan

The view of Terminal 1 at San Diego Airport, as seen by photographer David Thulin.
David Thulin Photography
The view of Terminal 1 at San Diego Airport, as seen by photographer David Thulin.

Terminal 1 Focus Of San Diego Airport Development Plan
San Diego's Terminal 1 Focus Of Airport Development Plan GUESTKeith Wilschetz, director of airport planning, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

The holiday travel season is underway, and if you've been to San Diego's airport you've probably noticed Terminal 1 is feeling a little outdated.

But changes are coming.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority's development plan, which aims to help the airport meet demand through 2035, when it expects to have 28 million visitors a year, includes rebuilding Terminal 1 and improving the parking lot. The San Diego International Airport currently sees an estimated 18 million visitors a year.

The development plan, which is a four-year planning process that includes an environmental review, will be presented to the Airport Authority’s board of directors on Jan. 15. The planning process is expected to cost $6.5 million and will be funded through airport revenues and user fees, not local tax dollars, according to the authority.

Keith Wilschetz, the authority's planning director, said four proposals will be presented to the board. All four include creating a roadway adjacent to North Harbor Drive to alleviate airport traffic.

“It's important to us that we minimize the impact,” Wilschetz said. “We're going to build a roadway that will connect the parking areas in front of the terminals all the way to Laurel (Street) and get that traffic off of North Harbor Drive.”

Wilschetz said the roadway, which will be built on airport property, will have two to three lanes in each direction. The proposals will also include adding five to six gates to the airport.

The planning and environmental review process is expected to be completed by 2016. In August 2013, the Airport Authority reopened Terminal 2 after investing $1 billion to revamp it.

Corrected: September 26, 2022 at 9:59 PM PDT
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly created the impression that rebuilding Terminal 1 and improving the airport parking lot would cost $6.5 million. In fact, the Airport Authority's four-year development planning process will cost $6.5 million.
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