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What is The Green Build?
The Green Build consisted of a series of needed improvements to San Diego International Airport (SDIA).

What improvements are included in the program?
The following improvements were part of The Green Build:

  • 10 new gates to reduce terminal congestion and provide expanded, more comfortable passenger waiting areas
  • Dual-level roadway to relieve curb-front traffic congestion by separating arriving and departing passengers
  • Enhanced curbside check-in, allowing passengers to print boarding passes, check baggage and view gate information at an easy-to-use curbside kiosk before entering the terminal
  • More security lanes to improve flow of passengers through the terminal
  • Expanded concessions area providing more dining and shopping options
  • Additional aircraft parking to eliminate the need for planes to taxi across the runway
  • Taxiway improvements to enhance the flow of aircraft traffic

Why are these improvements needed?
The Green Build helps meet current demand at SDIA and has made the traveling experience more comfortable and enjoyable for San Diego County residents and visitors. The airlines supported these improvements as necessary to accommodate expected passenger growth.

Why did you start construction during an economic downturn?
An economic downturn was actually a good time to start construction, due to decreased construction costs and increased bargaining power. The Green Build construction presented an opportunity to provide much-needed jobs for San Diego County residents and small businesses during a time when construction was at a low. In addition, these types of projects take a number of years to plan, design and build, so starting construction when we did was necessary in order to meet the timeframe for demand.

How many jobs did The Green Build create?
At the peak of construction,1,000 construction-related workers were on-site. The design/build contractors, in coordination with the Airport Authority’s Small Business Development Department, led a robust and highly successful outreach program to local businesses to communicate about construction-related business opportunities. In fact, the Authority received awards from the San Diego Chapter of the American Subcontracting Association, Airport Minority Advisory Council, San Diego Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Federal Aviation Administration for its small business outreach efforts. For more information visit www.san.org/smallbusiness.

How are these improvements being funded?
The Green Build was funded by user fees, airport revenue bonds, airport cash and FAA grants.

When was construction completed?
Construction was completed in August 2013.

What was the construction timeline?

  • Construction began on apron improvements and additional aircraft parking
  • Construction began on new USO facilities


  • Terminal construction began
  • Terminal 2 pedestrian bridges demolished
  • Some Terminal 2 parking spaces temporarily relocated


  • All Terminal 2 parking temporarily relocated
  • Temporary, 1,350-space parking lot opened
  • Dual-level roadway construction began
  • Terminal steel work completed


  • Terminal and dual-level roadway construction continues
  • Terminal 2 parking reopened (700 spaces)
  • Terminal 2 transit plaza condensed and temporarily relocated


  • New gates, facilities and roadway improvements open to the public
  • Terminal 2 parking fully reopened

What environmental mitigation measures did you take?
The Airport Authority outlined in-depth, comprehensive environmental mitigation measures as part of its Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for this project. These measures included constructing additional travel lanes on certain high-volume roadways, utilizing construction methods and taking precautionary measures that minimize impact on Least Tern habitat and minimizing air emissions through the use of construction employee shuttles and low- and zero-emitting construction equipment whenever possible. The Airport Authority is committed to protecting the environment.

Did the construction incorporate green building methods?
Yes. Sustainability and environmental sensitivity were hallmarks of The Green Build. The project incorporated sustainable design principles with the goal of meeting at least Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. For instance, construction material waste from the project, such as concrete, was recycled and reused on site. Other examples of sustainable design included:

  • Decreased water usage
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Use of alternative energy sources

What improvements has the NTC Landfill contributed to The Green Build?
The Airport Authority navigated numerous hurdles to perform an innovative clean closure—under budget and on schedule—of a closed municipal solid waste disposal site on the airport property. The site was part of the Naval Training Center (NTC) San Diego and used as a municipal waste landfill from 1950–1971. The Airport Authority spent $45 million to clean up the NTC Landfill with minimal impact to the neighboring community throughout the process. This was Phase One of The Green Build.

Did the public have an opportunity to weigh in on the improvements?
Prior to approving the EIR for The Green Build, the Airport Authority went through a comprehensive public process to provide members of the public and stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the improvements. Moving forward, Airport Authority Board meetings provide additional opportunities for public comment.

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