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Quality of Life

New entrances open at San Diego International Airport's Terminal 1

Passengers planning to fly out or drop off someone at San Diego International Airport should be prepared for some construction and maybe some confusion over a new entrance at Terminal 1.

“For motorists heading westbound on North Harbor Drive, the new entrance will come a little earlier than the old entrance, the previous entrance,” said airport spokesperson Nicole Hall. “We encourage people to look for directional signs, stay in your right lane and be prepared to take that new entrance.”

Lemon Grove resident Paul Silatolu was dropped off at the airport with his wife and baby in the car on Friday. He was headed to San Jose.


“This construction has been here for a really long time. Terminal 1 has been a nightmare, everyone knows that. You got to get here early,” the new father said.

He’s happy the construction is finally having a positive impact for people using the airport.

“I did notice a big difference on what it would look like in the future,” Silatolu said. “There are some big changes that are hopefully for the better and I think it's going to be beautiful here.”

As far as the future goes, Hall said the new roadway is a long term solution.

“The new entrance is a permanent entrance. And ultimately it will connect with an on airport roadway that will start at Laurel Street and will connect all the way to the curbside at Terminal 1,” she said.


The new entrance is estimated to take 45,000 cars off the road each day upon its completion, according to Hall.

The new roadway also helps to move along the greater construction efforts for Terminal 1.

“The old road actually went through the center of where the construction of new parking will be for the new terminal. And that parking plaza is going to be five levels, it'll offer 5,200 spaces. And it'll open in 2024,” Hall said.

After that comes the first phase of the new Terminal 1 building. It’s scheduled to open in late summer 2025, with 19 gates.

Construction of the new Terminal 1 is expected to be fully completed by 2028.