New T1 construction at San Diego International Airport causes major impacts to parking

San Diego International Airport

As of June 15, 2022, the Terminal 1 parking lot will be permanently closed. | Photo via San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

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Remember when we checked in on the progress of the $3.4 billion project to replace Terminal 1 at the San Diego International Airport earlier this year? Well, construction is zipping along — prompting big impacts to parking at SAN.

Let’s fly through what’s changing + when so you’re fully prepared next time you travel through the airport. 🛫

San Diego International Airport

New T1 construction at SAN on June 10, 2022. | Photo via the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

🚗 Terminal 1 parking lot

New T1 construction is drastically reducing parking around SAN this summer.

  • The Terminal 1 lot has been closed to incoming traffic since June 5 — and all cars remaining in the lot will need to exit by tomorrow.
  • On Wed., June 15, the Terminal 1 lot will be permanently closed.
San Diego International Airport

The passenger bridge that one took people to the Terminal 1 lot will be permanently closed on June 15, 2022. | Photo via San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

🏗️ Passenger bridge

  • Also on Wed., June 15: The pedestrian bridge and escalators outside + inside Terminal 1 that took pedestrians to the Terminal 1 lot and to the ground transportation island will close permanently.
  • A new crosswalk + stoplight will go into use in front of Terminal 1, replacing the closed bridge.
  • A new detour will be created for passengers arriving + departing from Terminal 1.
  • From Tues., July 5-Fri., July 8, the passenger bridge will be dismantled in three sections.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority tells us that during this time, there will be volunteers outside Terminal 1 helping to guide passengers.

A temporary location for ground transportation — ride-share, courtesy vehicles, taxis + shuttles — will tentatively be constructed in the Terminal 1 parking lot area, while general traffic will be routed through to the current ground transportation island for quick passenger pick-up and drop-off.

San Diego International Airport

As of June 15, 2022, the Terminal 1 parking lot is permanently closed. | Photo via San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

🧳 Plan, plan, plan

  • The Airport Authority says it’s best to avoid parking at SAN right now, but if you want to try, make reservations ahead of time. Check out SAN’s parking tips, too.
  • The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System is offering free rides to the airport through Labor Day via Route 992 — and via the San Diego Flyer, the airport shuttle from the Old Town Transit Center.
  • Watch for new signage that could impact drop-off + pick-up lanes.
San Diego International Airport

he New T1 construction is changing things daily at the San Diego International Airport | Photo via San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

🚧 What’s next?

The San Diego Regional Airport Authority says travelers should expect major construction impacts around SAN through the end of 2024 — when the new, 5,000+ car Terminal 1 Parking Plaza is expected to open. At that time, a new roadway will also divert westbound traffic from Harbor Drive into the airport.

Like we reported at the beginning of the year, the New T1 will be completed in three phases, through 2028. It’ll replace the entire current Terminal 1 with a modern, efficient facility designed to improve transportation, mobility + access to SAN for both locals and visitors.

San Diego International Airport

The upgraded approach area planned for the New T1. | Rendering via San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

When the original Terminal 1 opened in 1967, far fewer people were traveling in + out of San Diego. Today, the Airport Authority says SAN is “the busiest single-runway commercial airport in the nation,” which warrants the major upgrades.

When all is said and done, there will be 30 new gates at SAN — bringing the total to 62 across both terminals.

Get a closer look at some of the standout features of the project + watch this flyover video to get all up to speed. We’ll be keeping close watch on any and all developments over the years that’ll impact the way you travel through the busy San Diego International Airport.

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