“The dual level roadway is long overdue here,” he says. “Separating the arrival and departure traffic is not only a customer service issue, but a safety issue as well. When you combine those two operations, at peak times you have a real suicide squeeze going on at the curb. This really allows us to separate that traffic and make for a much nicer experience for the customer.”
A ‘Smart Curb’ has been designed into the project that will allow customers to perform full check-in functionality before they enter the facility, including baggage.
“It cost another $120 million to provide the second-level roadway and the Smart Curb; it did add cost to the project, but at the end of the day it’s safer, more efficient, and improves the experience.”
Curbside baggage check will be facilitated by the automated movement of baggage from the curb underground to the baggage check and makeup, and out to the aircraft.
“We are totally in-line now, but you learn a lot,” comments Enarson. Enhancements to the airport’s baggage technology involve the kind of pushers used to sort bags. “There are ones that work better than others,” he says. “The pushers that push up and down don’t work as well; the original design on the new building was to use those pushers. We said we want side-to-side; we redesigned the system to accommodate side-to-side push-sorting.”
From an energy standpoint, electric motors in the back soak up great amounts of electricity, remarks Enarson, so the airport is installing high-efficiency motors. “A lot of these enhancements we are doing with the new system really cut costs and are more reliable,” he adds.
The new terminal will also incorporate common use passenger processing technology (CUPPS) at the ticket counters and gates.
“That allows us to have the kiosks for self-check in to be all common use,” explains Enarson. “That’s probably the most advanced feature for us because it’s going to give a lot of flexibility to the building. It’s nice to have these check-in modules everywhere, but if every airline has its proprietary system, it gets to be a jungle.
“When the airport provides the common-use system, we can locate kiosks in places where airlines wouldn’t be able to, and not have as many units.
“Having common-use functionality is a long-term gain for the carriers because it puts off when you have to build new facilities; you get a longer life out of the building.
“We are putting in a common backbone infrastructure that will be able to serve the other terminals as well,” he continues, “ ... because our goal is to gradually convert the rest of the buildings to common use.”
Comments Enarson, “The fact that we are expanding the big building [existing Terminal 2 West] and continuing with the more spacious look that is more comfortable for the customer, the security checkpoint is going to be twice as big as the one we have now.
“That’s huge for passengers; our goal is to keep the average security wait time down to ten or 11 minutes.”
Emulating the existing architecture of Terminal 2 (T2), the airport will employ large amounts of glass and open space. Wind, sand, and sea is the design element theme in terms of colors; “We carried those design elements into the new building with the same architectural approach,” adds Enarson.
“The covers above the smart curb emulate what the convention center here has — that’s part of the San Diego experience. If anything, we are enhancing what we feel was done well with T2.”
With regard to concessions, the airport will grow from 75,000 square feet of retail and concession space to more than 149,000 square feet.
Relates Enarson, “The concession hall will be the signature piece of the expansion, and will be identified as Sunset Cove,” a 300-foot long and two and a half story high, all-glass area looking out to the west. “It will be very impressive, and a neat place for people to go and relax,” he adds.