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Nicole Hall
Senior Communications Specialist

T: 619.400.2859
M: 858.531.2863

After hours and weekends please email or call the Airport Communications Center at 619.400.2710

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Celebrates Completion of the New Terminal 1 Steel Structure

Officials Sign Steel Beam during Ceremony

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Today, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority) celebrated the completion of the steel structure of the first phase of the new Terminal 1 (New T1). To mark this 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,” said Airport Authority Board Chair Gil Cabrera. “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.”

"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, Airport Authority President and CEO. "Thank you to all of our partners who have a hand in this massive undertaking. We cant's wait to come back in 2025 and cut the ribbon on this critically needed terminal."

In addition to Cabrera and Becker, the event included remarks from San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria; Steve Sisneros, Vice President of Airport Affairs for Southwest Airlines; John Bagnas, General Manager of Airport Affairs for Delta Air Lines; and Rick Bach, Senior Vice President/Southwest Region for Turner Construction, representing the Turner-Flatiron joint venture.

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, on-airport arrivals roadway.

The New T1 parking plaza is approximately 45 percent 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.

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.  

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

The Luminous Wave design was a collaboration between Public Artist/Architect James Carpenter and Gensler. 

The New T1 program maximizes opportunities for small, local, veteran-owned small businesses, and disadvantaged business enterprises. Nineteen new restaurants and retail stores will open in the first phase. To date, approximately 500 contracted construction companies and about 5,000 workers have been hired to work on the construction of the first phase – totaling more than 1,776,000 hours.

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. Site-specific public art will be created by six commissioned artists and will be integrated into the design for The New T1.

For more information on the New T1, please visit


Owned and operated by San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority), San Diego International Airport (SAN) is one of the busiest single-runway commercial service airports in the world and the third-busiest airport in California. SAN contributes nearly $12 billion in economic activity for the region by connecting the world to San Diego and San Diego to the world. In November 2021, the Airport Authority began construction on the New T1 which includes the replacement of the current Terminal 1, improvements to the airfield, improved transportation connectivity to the airport, and a new administration building. The New T1 program’s total project budget is $3.4 billion and is estimated to create between 15,000 to 20,000 construction-related jobs. For more information about the New T1 please visit For more information about SAN please visit



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