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San Diego International Airport sees clear skies as growth plans announced

Jul 26, 2017

This year marks a new era for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. It has appointed a new President/CEO and unveiled future renovations and projects aimed at making the airport a world-class and green transport hub.

San Diego International Airport CEO Kimberly Becker

Then in March, the Airport Authority appointed industry veteran Kimberly Becker as its new CEO. She succeeded Thella Bowens, who oversaw many of the infrastructure improvements over the 15 years she worked for San Diego International Airport.

Becker said the Airport Authority would continue its regular consultations with San Diego’s business and tourism groups to map out effective strategies to target emerging markets and meet with various airlines to discuss new routes and flight options.

This community-based approach to air service development has yielded positive results. Since May, the airport has added nonstop service to premium destinations, including Frankfurt and Zurich. Later this year, it will reintroduce nonstop service to Mexico City.

Today, the airport’s roster of international flights includes nonstop air service to six countries — Japan, Germany, the U.K., Mexico, Canada and Switzerland.

The facade of the recently renovated San Diego International Airport

Overall, San Diego International Airport offers nonstop service to 61 destinations in the U.S. and 10 international destinations. This flurry of new flights has accelerated plans to build a new, expanded customs facility for international arrivals. The new facility is under construction now and is expected to open in June 2018. 

The goal is to make the airport the clear choice not only for leisure travelers, but also for those looking to do business — or build their businesses — in San Diego, as well as overseas markets.

“San Diego is a growing and thriving city,” Becker said. “More and more businesses are driving this community to a profitable and sustainable future. That’s what we wanted this airport to reflect.”

The next project on the horizon is the replacement of the 50-year-old Terminal 1, although a timeline and budget have not been finalized. Through effective planning and close collaboration, the Airport Authority strengthened its financial position to more than $234 million, with assets of $2.2 billion.

Southern California 2017 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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