San Diego’s Green Build

Terminal project to add capacity and enhance the passenger experience


SAN DIEGO — As San Diego International Airport (SAN) embarks upon the largest improvement project in its 80-plus year history, AIRPORT BUSINESS sits with Green Build vice president of development Bryan Enarson to discuss the role sustainability and technology will play in the new terminal facility, and the extensive customer service enhancements that will result from the development. Facilitating the movement of some 17 million passengers in 2009, a figure that is expected to increase to some 30 million by 2030, Enarson relates that the new terminal and the addition of ten new gates at SAN is a much-needed improvement.

Having worked for San Diego hometown carrier Pacific Southwest Airlines beginning in 1970, Enarson is no stranger to this West Coast airport setting. He worked in the field for 12 years at different stations throughout California and landed at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field for good in 1981.

After going to work for the Port District (San Diego Airport operator at the time) in 1997, Enarson began as director of operations at the airport and moved on as director of the airport real estate group; he also took positions in marketing, public relations, facilities development, facilities maintenance, and now as VP of development for the airport’s Green Build project. SAN is currently owned and operated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

With a particular focus on sustainability, this development project includes the addition of ten new gates, a ‘Smart Curb’ curbside check-in, a dual-level roadway in front of the terminal, a doubling of security lanes to 12, and an expanded concessions area. All in all, the project will cost $1 billion ($865 million for the project and the remainder in financing costs) and will incorporate state-of-the-art baggage technology, open-space terminal design elements, and increased common-use functionality.

Remarks Enarson, “The economy will come back and San Diego will be positioned well because we’ll have the new facilities in place.

“The downtime is a good time to make improvements — so when the good times return, you’re ready for it. Overall it’s going to be a much better experience for the passenger.”

Sustainability, Technology

Environmentally, a big concern is traffic and the airport’s hydrocarbon footprint, says Enarson. The airport is moving to a single bus system, which will shorten the traffic distance for rental cars, and instead of individual buses for each rental car company, “We’ll have a single bus system going back and forth nonstop to the terminals,” he relates.

“That is something that is happening all around the country, and it’s happening because it’s more efficient and environmentally it’s the right thing to do.”

The airport is targeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, comments Enarson. Project plans for incorporating sustainability into the new 445,000-square foot terminal complex are to employ the use of natural light, photovoltaic technology, landscaping measures, water conservation, electrical efficiency measures, and the use of reusable and sustainable materials in the building process.

“We are hitting the sustainability aspect from a lot of different directions,” says Enarson. “LEED has the criteria and gives us a good roadmap to follow.”

Other measures include regulating the type of contractor construction equipment by mandating filters on certain vehicles to mitigate emissions, and the utilization of electric vehicles.

Design plans call for the terminal entrance to be set back from the terminal curb, a dual level roadway to relieve curb-front traffic by separating arriving and departing passengers. Setting the structure back from the building will allow the airport to take full advantage of the terminal window wall, resulting in a great amount of natural daylighting, relates Enarson.

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