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    Welcome to the Ambassablog! We're the front-line employee bloggers of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and participants in the Airport Authority's Goodwill Ambassador Program.

    Here you'll find our continually updated posts about life at historic San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field).

    Take a look around, and Email us if there's something you'd like to see added to the Ambassablog or covered in future posts.
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    For questions or information about this blog and other social media tools used by San Diego International Airport, contact:
    Steven Shultz, M.S.
    Deputy Director, Public & Community Relations /
    San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: sshultz@san.org

Airport Development Plan: Looking Ahead at San Diego International Airport

As shown in the image above (click on image to see it bigger), beyond Terminal 1 – stretching along North Harbor Drive toward downtown and Laurel Street – we have more area to work with. The acquisition of the former Teledyne-Ryan property within the airport footprint gives us some land to pursue our commitments to diversifying non-airline revenue and creating new options to meet passenger needs.

As shown in the image above (click on image to see it bigger), beyond Terminal 1 – stretching along North Harbor Drive toward downtown and Laurel Street – we have more area to work with. 

With great fanfare, the airport opened its much-heralded Green Build to “oohs” and “ahs”— on time and under budget. It’s been the talk of the town since, as passengers experience the variety of modern conveniences, integrated artwork, and local, national and international food and retail offerings.

But at the Airport Authority, our work to keep the ball of progress rolling never ends. As we celebrate the new, questions arise about what we’ll do with the old. Never fear: airport planners are on the beat!

While it has served the traveling public well, Terminal 1 was built in the 1960s. The time has come to envision replacing this aging infrastructure with something better-suited to serve 21st-century air passengers.

The acquisition of the former Teledyne-Ryan property within the airport footprint gives us some land to pursue our commitments to diversifying non-airline revenue and creating new options to meet passenger needs.

edThis exciting realm of possibilities is part of the Airport Development Plan, or ADP. You’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming years, just as you’ve grown familiar with the Authority’s other planning efforts, like The Green Build and North Side Development.

The ADP represents a unique opportunity in the life of the airport to influence its future direction. Therefore, we are encouraging the public and all our stakeholders to be involved in the ADP process. To keep abreast of this effort, check out some frequently asked questions about the project and some general information about it here: www.sanplan.com.

We got the Wright stuff!

You may have noticed that Ohio state license plates proclaim the Buckeye State to be “the Birthplace of Aviation,” while North Carolina plates say the Tarheel State is “First in Flight.” Their respective state commemorative quarters make the same, seemingly competing claims. So which is right?

They’re both right, because of the Wrights … two brothers named Orville and Wilbur. They are credited with having the first successful flights in a heavier than air, mechanically propelled airplane. They were from Dayton, Ohio, and developed all their concepts for flight in their home state. But when it came to a place to actually demonstrate their airplane in action, they chose what meteorological data told them was the windiest point in the United States: Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

From the sandy beaches along the Atlantic, the Wright brothers lifted themselves, literally and figuratively, into human flight and one of the greatest achievements of humanity. Aviation as we know it ultimately owes its origins to Orville and Wilbur Wright, and proper tribute is paid to these pioneers at the Wright Brothers Memorial in North Carolina.

I visited the memorial this year, carrying with me from one ocean coast to the other a sense of awe and appreciation for what they achieved.  I certainly got to that location a lot faster by my own air travel! Every year, the date of December 17 is set aside for all Americans to celebrate the Wright brothers’ lift-off from the bonds of earth and gravity on that day in 1903.

San Diego is famous for a lot of aviation achievements in its own right, but we’ve never forgotten where it all began.

Charles Lindbergh may be prominent at airport, which now bears his name, but the legacy of the Wright brothers lives on in a pair of conference rooms at Airport Authority headquarters named for each of them, which can be and often are joined to host large meetings — especially those that welcome the public.

This pair of rooms on the second floor of the Commuter Terminal ensures that we have the Wright stuff, too, adding our own touchstone of respect to a pair of pioneers who did what was once considered impossible. In its own way, San Diego joins Ohio and North Carolina — and we can all be Wright!

One final beam. One bright future.

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“One final beam. One bright future.” That was the memorable slogan on a large banner hanging over the final steel beam for The Green Build Terminal 2 expansion at San Diego International Airport yesterday, before it was lifted into place at a “Topping Out” ceremony attended by over 200 Airport Authority staff, construction workers, elected officials, community leaders and media.

There are several ways to get a taste of yesterday’s excitement if you didn’t happen to be there:

In the near future, the Ambassablog will also feature a video documenting yesterday’s ceremony.
Home Treat Alert: Some of the social media links or multimedia features above may not be accessible at work. But you can view the Ambassablog at home & check them out there.

San Diego to London – Nonstop!

Michael Irizarry of La Jolla sent us this gorgeous photo he managed to capture of the inaugural British Airways flight 273 coming in for a landing at San Diego International Airport yesterday evening. For more information about the new service see this news release:

British Airways Launches New Daily Non Stop Flights Between San Diego And London Heathrow

Biking to work at the airport

Airport Authority employees who rode their bikes to work today.

Today was National Bike to Work Day sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. Several Airport Authority employees answered the call and arrived at work today on two wheels. Here are eleven of them standing proudly in front of their carbon-free transportation for the day. They were rewarded for their efforts with free snacks, t-shirts and other give-aways at special rest stops stationed around the county.

They’re here!

Last week, the first California Least Tern nests of the season were spotted at Lindbergh Field. A total of four nests were counted in the protected areas of the airfield. The airport’s environmental team reports that up to 80 Least Terns were observed at SDIA last week, courting each other and checking out the nesting areas.

The first nests of the season appeared last Thursday, May 12. Last year on May 12, the nest count stood at three.

For more information on the story of the endangered California Least Terns at Lindbergh Field, click here.

For Earth Day, airport launches online nest counter for endangered California Least Tern

In honor of Earth Day 2011 (April 22), SDIA today launched an online counter that tracks the number of California Least Tern nests in the airport’s protected Least Tern habitat. Visit the counter at:

SDIA Least Tern Nest Counter

The California Least Tern is a federally listed endangered seabird species that nests in protected areas on the airfield. The Airport Authority works cooperatively with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Port of San Diego, the San Diego Zoological Society’s Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species and the U.S. Navy to protect the Least Tern and its habitat areas around San Diego Bay.

The Least Tern nesting season at SDIA runs from approximately April to September each year. At launch, the online counter reads “0” – as no nests have been reported at SDIA yet this season. But the counter will be updated on a weekly basis as nest counts at SDIA are recorded through the season.

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