Big changes are planned at Lindbergh Field: 10 gates added at Terminal 2; a second-level roadway at the terminal, allowing for separate arrival and departure locations; a new short-term parking structure at Terminal 2; plus construction of a new airfield apron, providing more overnight parking for jetliners.
The Airport Authority has produced a draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposals. San Diegans have until the end of the month to comment. Public hearings are expected to begin in March. After those, the board will vote on certification of the EIR. If all goes as planned, construction will begin in mid-2009 and new additions will open to the public in 2012.
It's way too early to ask which airlines will be stationed at the new gates or to wonder what kinds of dining and retail space will be included in the Terminal 2 addition, said Lindbergh spokeswoman Sharie Shipley.
About 17.5 million travelers pass through Lindbergh Field annually. That number is projected to increase to more than 27 million by 2030.
In the meantime, the Airport Authority is working on a transit plan to make commutes to Lindbergh easier and more efficient. Options include adding a nonstop express bus route from the Old Town Transit Center and developing remote check-in terminals along Interstate I-15 and I-805 that would operate in conjunction with the express bus service.
Travelers who want to learn more about what's planned can sign up for tours of the airport. Explanatory meetings are continuing around the county: Tuesday at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive; Thursday at the La Mesa Community Center, 4957 Memorial Drive; Nov. 14 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave.; and Nov. 15 at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X branch library, 5148 Market St. All meetings are planned for noon to 8 p.m.
Send written comments to: Airport Planning, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, P.O. Box 82776, San Diego, CA 92138-2776. Comments can be faxed to (619) 400-2459. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org (Comments must be limited to 2,000 words -- with no attachments.)
Travel news beat
* Beginning Nov. 20, travelers 16 and older arriving in Japan will be electronically fingerprinted and photographed at immigration control. Anyone who refuses will be ordered to leave the country. To see a video explaining the procedure, go to nettv.gov-online.go.jp/prg/prg1203.html.
* BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corp., has acquired Lonely Planet, best known for its guidebooks. Maureen and Tony Wheeler, who founded the company in 1972, will retain a 25 percent share of the company.
If you haven't logged on to the Union-Tribune's new online radio station yet, give a listen. At 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, I talk travel with hosts Clark Anthony and Ken Copper. This week, I'll be reporting from Catalina -- which has fully recovered after a mid-May wildfire that charred 10 percent of the island. Log on at signonradio.com.
"My husband and I returned in mid-September from a vacation in Venice, Italy, and so we very much enjoyed the Oct. 14 story on the city. However, if most of the author's meals in Venice have been 'forgettable,' she needs to buy a copy of 'Chow! Venice: Savoring the Food and Wine of La Serenissima' by San Diego writer Shannon Essa and her co-author, Ruth Edenbaum (Wine Appreciation Guild $19.95). Using that and some of the restaurant suggestions in "Fodor's See It: Venice" (Fodor's $21.95), we had many wonderful meals during our two-week stay.
"A wonderful hotel in the heart of the San Marco district is the Residence Corte Grimani. The 15 spacious, spotless and comfortable apartments -- each with bedroom, one or two baths, and a living room/dining area/kitchen -- are a great value at rates ranging from 160 to 250 euros (about $226 to $354). This is less than many hotels charge for just a room. Read the glowing five-star reviews on the hotel at tripadvisor.com.
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