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San Diego International Airport’s New T1 Concessionaires Selected

San Diego International Airport’s new T1 concessionaires will offer travelers an authentic San Diego experience.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the organization that owns and runs San Diego International Airport, has chosen businesses that will operate in the new Terminal 1. The terminal will have a variety of local, regional, and national brands that showcase the essence of San Diego.

Recently, the Airport Authority gave their approval for the last set of contracts, guaranteeing a great selection of restaurants and shops for travelers.

Now, let’s take a look at the exciting progress happening at San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1.

About San Diego International Airport

Connecting the World to San Diego, San Diego International Airport (IATA: SAN, ICAO: KSAN) is one of the busiest single-runway commercial service airports in the world. It is also the third-busiest airport in California.

Its operations contribute nearly $12 billion in economic activity, supporting the region’s growth and prosperity. With a strong focus on improving the air traveler experience, the Airport Authority began construction on the New T1 in November 2021.

This ambitious project encompasses the replacement of the existing Terminal 1, airfield improvements, enhanced transportation connectivity, and the construction of a new administration building.

An Authentic San Diego Experience

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board wants to make sure that the new Terminal 1 provides a true San Diego experience. To do this, they have carefully selected a diverse group of concessions operators. These operators will bring together local, regional, and national brands. In total, there will be 19 restaurants and seven retail stores in the terminal. They will offer a mix of well-known San Diego favorites and exciting new experiences.

Delicious Culinary Delights

Travelers who are at Terminal 1 will have the chance to enjoy a variety of delicious foods. Well-known local restaurants like Kettner Exchange, Puesto, and Carnitas Snack Shack will be present along with popular national chains like Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s. These options range from gourmet coffee and bakery treats to casual dining and appealing bars with appetizer plates. The menus have a wide selection to accommodate different preferences and meal times such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Retail Therapy and Unique Gifts

Terminal 1 will make both your taste buds and shopping desires happy. The selected stores will have a variety of products, such as convenient items, special gifts, and souvenirs with a San Diego touch. You can visit places like Hip & Humble, The Arts District Market, and Liberty Station to find the perfect souvenir or anything you might need for your trip.

Selection Process and Criteria

The Airport Authority used a careful process to pick the best businesses for Terminal 1. They considered factors like money, experience, ideas, design, environment-friendly practices, support for small businesses, and how well they treat customers. This thorough approach means that the terminal will meet the needs of both travelers and the airport community.

San Diego Community Benefits

The expansion of Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport improves the experience for travelers and helps the local community in San Diego. The total cost of the project is $3.4 billion, and it is expected to create around 15,000 to 20,000 jobs in construction.

Moreover, the participation of ACDBE-certified businesses (Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) in collaborations, leases, or business partnerships helps support small business inclusion and encourages economic growth in the area.

Capturing the Essence of San Diego

The new Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport will give travelers a true San Diego experience. It will have a great selection of local, regional, and national brands, offering everything from delicious food to interesting shops. The goal is to make sure every traveler has an amazing time, whether they’re trying out the city’s tasty cuisine or exploring the unique stores. This project shows the airport’s dedication to providing top-notch travel experiences and supporting the local economy.

T1’s New Signature Architectural Feature Draws Inspiration from Waves and Sunlight

The Luminous Wave Facade of San Diego International Airport's New T1

San Diego International Airport’s New Terminal 1 has a standout architectural feature that combines wave and sunlight elements. This design pays tribute to the airport’s prime location near the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The creators of the terminal drew inspiration from the beautiful surroundings to craft an impressive outer appearance.

The Luminous Wave Facade

The ticketing hall facade, called the “Luminous Wave,” has a distinct and eye-catching design. Working together with artist Jamie Carpenter, Gensler and the Arrive design-build team used sunlight studies and computer modeling to create a facade that resembles the gentle motion of light and water on the ocean’s surface.

A Curved Glass Masterpiece

The front part of the ticketing hall is very long, about 800 feet (approximately 244 meters), and it is also quite tall, reaching a height of 33 feet (around 10 meters). It is made up of curved glass pieces, each of which is 14 feet (approximately 4.27 meters) wide and 5 feet (around 1.52 meters) tall. These specially made glass pieces give people inside and outside the terminal stunning views.

Enhancing Passenger Comfort

The facade of the building is designed with both looks and comfort in mind. The curved glass panels are made in a way that reduces strong sunlight and keeps the inside cool. This creates a pleasant atmosphere without the need for window coverings.

Mock-up Practice for Perfection

Workers on the San Diego Airport's New Terminal 1 project practice assembling the "Luminous Wave" before assembling the wall feature during construction.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, workers on the New Terminal 1 project recently got to practice putting together the “Luminous Wave.” They used a mockup of the wall’s panels to find any problems before building it at the actual terminal. This way, they can make sure the final outcome is of the best quality.

Once it’s finished, San Diego International Airport’s New Terminal 1 will have great travel services and a design that shows off the area’s natural beauty. The construction of the terminal is being carefully planned and practiced to make sure it gives travelers and the aviation professionals who work at SAN an amazing experience.

Learn more about SAN’s New Terminal 1 at 

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