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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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  • Contact

    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.

The airport at 85

85th

Today is the 85th anniversary of the opening of San Diego International Airport.

85 years covers a lot of history – from its humble beginnings as the first federally certified airfield, dedicated in honor of famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, to the completion of the innovative and modern Green Build expansion project last week.

What a remarkable transformation. Happy 85th Birthday, SAN!

mary

More than just SDIA!

 

Brown Field Municipal Airport in southern San Diego County, near the border with Mexico, is one of ten General Aviation airports in the county.

Have you ever wondered why we’re called a county regional airport authority, instead of, say, the San Diego International Airport Authority?  A lot of people mistakenly believe that we’re an arm of San Diego’s county government because of our name, but that’s not the case. So what’s the reason for our name? It’s been a while since the Ambassablog delved into this, so it seems time for a refresher—and an expanded lesson.

While the Airport Authority operates just one airport, SDIA, we were created by the state with two other mandated functions:  to serve as the regional aviation planning coordinator for the county and to serve as the county airport land use commission.

The latter responsibility is what makes up my job – doing land use compatibility planning for other airports in the county through their adopted Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans( ALUCPs).  I also contributed to the Regional Aviation Strategic Plan (RASP) adopted by the Airport Authority last year.  It evaluated several of these airports for ways to optimize the regional aviation system.

Have you ever seen Fallbrook Community Airpark? Here it is.

So what are those other airports?  There is only one other commercial service airport in the county, McClellan-Palomar in Carlsbad.  Both it and SDIA each also has a general aviation component.  The 10 other public-use airports in the county are strictly for GA:

But the question is often asked, “What exactly is general aviation?”

Ever wonder how your GPS gets its mapping data?  Or how our largely rural international border is monitored?  Or even more basic: how do they maintain many of the massive farm fields that produce our food and nursery plants?

All of these functions and more are largely handled through GA airports! Here are just some of the vital roles handled through these facilities:

  • Emergency preparedness and response, medical transport, and search & rescue missions
  • Aerial firefighting
  • Law enforcement, customs, and homeland/border security
  • Emergency flight diversion
  • Remote community and wilderness access (e.g., islands and reservations)
  • Charter passenger services (e.g., tours, sports and music events)
  • Mail/package delivery and air cargo
  • Corporate transportation
  • Flight instruction
  • Agricultural crop-dusting support
  • Aerial surveying
  • Oil and mineral exploration
  • Utility/pipeline monitoring and inspection
  • Aviation manufacturing, distribution, and maintenance industries
  • Aerospace engineering and research
  • Low-orbit space launch and landing
  • Special public events (e.g., air shows, skydiving)

Ramona Airport.

Whew!  That’s quite a list.  Most people rarely think about GA airports, but they really contribute to our wellbeing.  Life without them would be a lot harder for sure.

So the next time you think about flying, consider that it’s more than just commercial airlines ferrying passengers.  GA airports enhance our daily lives in many ways, so we’re proud to be a County Regional Airport Authority, planning to protect these vital assets in the San Diego region.

San Diego County’s 10 GA airports are part of a network of nearly 3,000 general aviation airports across the country, making their numbers far greater than the commercial service airports with which the flying public is better acquainted.

SDIA has done a good job spreading the word about the economic benefits of our airport, summed up in the slogan “Airports Fuel Regional Economies.”   But GA airports are also critically important to the economic vitality of the regions they serve—far beyond just the recreational pilots and passengers who use them.

 

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Talk about teamwork …

Nyle, the Airport Authority's Manager of Concession Development.

There are great team players everywhere.  Here is the story of one of our own….

Nyle, the Airport Authority’s Manager of Concession Development, was recently tasked with heading the selection process for San Diego International Airport’s new Concessions Development Program (CDP). Nyle was charged with engaging all stakeholders, acting as staff liaison to the CDP evaluation panel, and working with the Airport Authority’s Procurement Department to ensure an impartial and transparent selection process.

In preparation for the airport’s old master concessionaire arrangement coming to an end at the end of 2012 due to lease expiration, 16 Request for Proposal (RFP) packages for new food and retail concessions were already on the street, and responses were coming in. Interest from both local and national concessionaires was intense, and the timeline was tight.

Click the image above to see larger images of where all the great new shops and restaurants are going to be located at San Diego International Airport, starting in December 2012.

With a keen understanding of the Airport Authority’s collaborative culture, Nyle starting knocking on doors. He believes, as does the Airport Authority, in an “inclusive” approach to teamwork.

As he identified and engaged stakeholders, Nyle took the time to talk with each of them on the importance of their role in the effort. Where he felt he needed extraordinary support, he worked hard to obtain it. Through an ongoing, two-way dialogue, he was able to establish a trust level among stakeholders that extended all the way to the President/CEO’s office.As a result, everyone knew their role and what they could expect from Nyle.

As the effort gained momentum, Nyle made multiple presentations to the Airport Authority Board (which he identified as one of his key stakeholders).  These presentations were crafted to provide a clear and consistent message across all 16 concession packages.

Nyle kept on point as he disseminated information about the program, both within the Airport Authority and externally to concessionaires and the San Diego community.

Stakeholders came away proud to be part of a very successful effort and with a great appreciation for the collaborative skills of Nyle.The selection process concluded on time and won Board approval of staff’s recommendation for all 16 concession packages. As a result, SDIA will offer more than 80 great new food and retail concessions beginning in December, 2012.

Give us five, Nyle!

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Happy Birthday SDIA!

Undated photo showing San Diego International Airport in America's Finest City.

Today marks the San Diego International Airport’s 83rd anniversary.  In honor of the occasion, here are some interesting facts:

  • The airport was dedicated on August 16, 1928, as Lindbergh Field, to honor famed aviator Charles Lindbergh.
  • Another famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, participated in the grand dedication ceremony.
  • San Diego’s then-mayor declared the Dedication Day a public holiday and urged businesses to close midday to witness the celebration.
  • 222 military planes soared over Lindbergh Field as part of the festivities.

Interested in more SDIA history?  Check out this historic timeline on our web page.

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.

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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