SAN DIEGO – June 17, 2016 – The San Diego International Airport has earned a major award for good fiscal stewardship and another for sustainability from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and San Diego Gas & Electric, respectively.
The airport received a Regional Golden Watchdog award from the Taxpayers Association for the new Rental Car Center, which opened in January. The award was presented at the Taxpayer Association’s annual Golden Watchdog and Golden Fleece Awards Dinner on June 16.
The Golden Watchdog award recognizes projects and programs that exemplify efficient use of public dollars.
The 2-million-square-foot Rental Car Center houses most of the rental car companies serving the airport, including national brands, as well as local, independent and small business rental car companies, in one central location off Pacific Highway.
The $316 million facility was entirely self-funded by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, with its bonds to be repaid by Customer Facility Charges. This means that the customers who use the facility, (i.e., rental car companies) are funding it through a fee that is added to rental car transactions, collected by rental car companies and remitted back to the Airport Authority.
The project generated approximately 4,600 construction jobs, with $186 million in construction contracts going to local businesses, of that $70.4 million went to small businesses.
The award marks the third time the Airport Authority has earned a Golden Watchdog award from the Taxpayers Association. In 2014, the $812 million Terminal 2 expansion project won the award; and in 2011, the Airport Authority was recognized for the sale of $573 million in bonds to fund the Terminal 2 expansion at a borrowing cost of 4.38 percent, which was the lowest in the nation for an airport-related, long-term bond sale.
On June 10, 2016, the Airport Authority was named the 2016 Grand Energy Champion at SDG&E’s Energy Showcase for implementing numerous energy saving measures that have translated into tangible energy and monetary savings. In 2014-2015, the Airport Authority worked with SDG&E to receive an incentive of $150,000 for the Rental Car Center while also achieving an energy savings of 2,075,736 kilowatt hours (kWh). That’s equivalent to powering more than 300 homes for a full year.
The energy efficient upgrades installed by the airport “are commendable, and we look forward to continuing to work with our customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals,” said Caroline Winn, chief energy delivery officer for SDG&E. “The energy industry is changing rapidly and we are committed to improving the way energy is delivered by utilizing new, smart technologies that benefit all of our customers, whether in your home or at your business.”