SAN DIEGO – May 17, 2017 – San Diego International Airport (SAN) today officially kicked off construction of a new Federal Inspection Station (FIS) at the west end of Terminal 2. The new Customs facility is being designed to accommodate the increase in international passengers resulting from recently added overseas flights.
SAN has experienced significant growth in international arrivals in the past quarter-century – from about 50,000 passengers a year in the early 1990s to more than 300,000 a year in 2016. That number – and the associated economic impact – will continue to grow as more international nonstop flights are added.
“The economic impact of international flights is significant – about $432 million annually for the region,” said April Boling, Airport Authority Board Chairman. “But beyond the dollars and cents argument is the more personal one. A new Federal Inspection Station will allow us to better accommodate people who travel great distances to visit friends, families and loved ones.”
Boling made her remarks at a groundbreaking ceremony held outside Terminal 2 this morning. Other speakers included Kimberly J. Becker, Airport Authority President/CEO; Mark Kersey, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem and Airport Authority Board member; Richard C. Bach, Senior Vice President, Southwest Region, Turner Construction Company; Jennifer Farnham, Area Manager, California Buildings, PCL Construction Services, Inc.; and Pete Flores, Director of Field Operations, San Diego U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
As of June 2017, SAN will offer nonstop flights to and from six countries – Japan, Germany, Switzerland, the U.K., Mexico and Canada. Construction of a new, larger Customs facility for international flight arrivals will allow the airport to process these passengers with greater ease and efficiency.
The new FIS facility will serve these airlines: British Airways, Japan Airlines, Condor Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and, starting June 9, Edelweiss Air.
The new facility will improve the processing experience for passengers with reduced wait times and create a more welcoming environment. Features of the new facility will include a second baggage claim and more queuing space in the lower level Customs hall, as well the newest processing technologies introduced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“San Diego International Airport has always set the bar high in terms of customer service,” Becker said. “This new Federal Inspection Station will ensure that passengers from other countries will enjoy an easy and efficient Customs process for decades to come.”
The new FIS facility will replace the current facility in Terminal 2 East. It will be an estimated 130,000 square feet, compared to the 26,000 square feet in the current facility. The new facility will also increase the number of international gates from three to six.
The $229.4 million facility is scheduled to be operational in summer 2018.
Until then, passengers arriving on domestic flights that come into Terminal 2 West will notice new temporary walls to shield construction. Passengers may also be directed to a different baggage carousel than the one to which they are accustomed.
The little-used terminal roadway at the west end of Terminal 2 is temporarily closed for construction. This will not affect normal exiting of the airport property to Harbor Drive and Interstate 5.
For more information on the construction of the new Federal Inspection Station, please visit