San Diego International Airport has landed a $20 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will boost its multi-billion dollar reconstruction of Terminal 1.
In addition to helping finance the T1 project, the federal grant will also go toward improvements to the airfield, and transportation improvements to make it easier to get to and from the airport.
This multi-million dollar grant is thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law by President Biden in late 2021. The grant funds are from the Airport Terminal Program — one of three aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to bolster the nation’s airports with an overall $25 billion investment.
California received more than $139 million in grant funding this fiscal year to upgrade, modernize, and rebuild the state’s airports, terminals and air traffic control towers.
San Diego was one of eight airports in California and among 99 airports nationwide to receive a grant during this funding round, which was announced Tuesday. The other Southern California airports to receive grants included Los Angeles International Airport, Bob Hope (Hollywood Burbank) Airport and Palm Springs International Airport.
“Our purpose is to create an exceptional airport experience for the community and the world,” said Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
Becker said this grant will fund a portion of the Terminal 1 remodel, which includes the construction of a new 1,210,000-square-foot terminal building and the addition of 11 new gates for a total of 30 gates. It will also include improved food and retail concessions, expanded security lanes, a children’s play area and a restaurant overlooking the San Diego bay.
The transformation of the 1960s-era terminal began in November 2021 and it will be built in phases over the next few years. The $3.4 billion makeover of T1 — the single largest project in the airport’s history — is expected to be complete by 2028 at the earliest.
Last summer, San Diego airport also received help for the project from a $24 million federal grant thanks to the government funds allocated to improve the country’s airport terminals. That was on top of a $24.2 million grant San Diego airport was awarded in December 2021, also from the federal infrastructure law.