• Ambassa-Visitors

    • 89,933 hits
  • Site Meter
    Click here to see from where: Geo Visitors Map

  • Welcome

    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.
  • Recent Comments

  • Top 5 Posts

  • Most Recent Posts

  • Post Categories

  • Ambassa-Archives

  • 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
  • Advertisements

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


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!


Alaska Airlines’ Best-Kept San Diego Secret


California Wine Country — less than two hours away from San Diego, thanks to Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Did you know that Alaska Airlines operates a daily flight from San Diego to the California wine country?

I recently took the flight for a four-day weekend. It’s operated by Alaska’s regional partner, Horizon Air, and is served by a Bombardier Q400. That’s a modern turboprop aircraft which seats close to 80 people, with 2 seats on each side of the aisle.



The mid-morning flight from SDIA was smooth and congenial. There was a snack and a complimentary glass of wine (or craft beer if you prefer) to ensure my holiday got off to a good start.

The flight took less than two hours and arrived at Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport just in time for lunch. Having skirted the larger airports, I missed all the hassle and cost of trying to transverse the busy Bay Area. Instead I stepped off the plane and into the bright Sonoma sunshine, with only a short drive to the nearest vineyard.


The Girl & the Fig restaurant in Sonoma Plaza.

It was a delightful four days—including oysters in the coastal hamlet of Point Reyes Station, Russian River wine tastings, and a delightful dinner at the Girl & the Fig restaurant on the Sonoma Plaza.

On my way out of Sonoma, I stopped by the outdoor patio of the airport’s Sky Lounge and savored one last glass of chardonnay. Then I walked the short distance to my return flight and was off. The late afternoon flight arrived in San Diego just in time to see the sun set.

Ahh… here’s to the good life.NewAnnBlogPic

Check out this Alaska Airlines flight the next time you have a hankering for the wine country! Alaska Airlines is online at:  http://www.alaskaair.com.  And you can book your flight using the AIrport Authority’s online route map.

Waves of Appreciation


Left to right, Airport Authority volunteers Naty, Kim, Susie, and Ryan.

On November 11, 2012, Airport Authority employees donated their time and effort toward a volunteer event sponsored by “Waves of Appreciation,” an organization created by Pepperdine University alumni. The paramount goal is to give back and show gratitude to  service men and women as they travel home for the holidays to see their loved-ones.

Approximately 15 Authority employees joined a larger group of volunteers for an afternoon of stuffing 3,500 goody bags of nonperishable food items to be distributed at San Diego International Airport.

Waves of Appreciation partnered with the United Services Organization (USO) at SDIA for the bag distribution, which took place prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The bags helped sustain many of the young service members who might have otherwise traveled hungry during the holidays.


And the USO located at SDIA has bragging rights! Ours is the only USO in the United States that distributes these bags of delectable delights ever year. So kudos to the USO and Airport Authority volunteers — way to exhibit that Community Strategy!*

* The Airport Authority’s Community Strategy is “to be a trusted and highly responsive regional agency.”


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.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Mastering the Art of Legos: A Lesson on Airport Strategy

Summer 2012 Airport Authority interns: navigating their way to bright futures.  Left aisle (front to back): Philip Yttermalm, Daniel Schoenberg, Shan Sebastian, and Stephanie Nowinski. Right aisle (front to back): Kyle Teague, Lauren Wakham, Carolina Mohrlock, and Nicole Frost. See what departments they’re working in below.

Special Guest Post by Carolina, Public Relations Intern

When was the last time you were able to plunge both arms into a bucket of Legos?

For many of us, it’s far more likely that we step on the lone Lego that resisted playtime cleanup—coincidentally, the sharpest piece known to Legoland. So it may have been a while since we’ve trudged through half-dismantled spaceships strewn into bins for the perfect piece to top off our control tower.

But the Airport Authority’s 2012 Summer Interns did just that during orientation last month. (By the way, you can check out all the interns — and information about the Airport Authority’s internship program — on a special new Facebook page we created: https://www.facebook.com/SDCRAAInternships).

After spending a morning learning about the Airport Authority’s vision, mission, strategies and goals, and returning from the Terminals to Tarmac tour led by Ambassablogger Ryan of the AIrport Planning Department, we were divided into teams and charged with creating Lego sculptures depicting one or more strategies.

Ready, set, sculpt!

Team Environmental and Finance: Striking a Balance

Lauren from Environmental paired up with Finance’s Philip to create a piece that incorporated both the Customer and Operational strategies.

“We were trying to highlight the sometimes-conflicting relationship between our strategies here at the airport, as well as how they all come to together to achieve our mission,” said Lauren.

The trees and bay on their Lego sculpture represent the environment, with houses for the community. There is also a nod to public safety with a security checkpoint, a parking garage representing development, and ground service equipment, baggage and an airplane for operations. Their goal was to show how the strategies are all linked and dependent upon each other to achieve the Airport Authority’s mission:

We will plan for and provide air transportation services to the region with safe, effective facilities that exceed customer expectations. We are committed to operating San Diego’s air transportation gateways in a manner that promotes the region’s prosperity and protects its quality of life.

Team Marketing and Planning: The Greener, the Better

Marketing intern Nicole and Daniel from Planning focused on the Sustainability, Customer and Community strategies, using their fair share of green Legos to communicate how these strategies support The Green Build.

“We added a living roof to the building in order to catch rain water and recycle it. We also included an electric car to help with emissions from all the vehicles on the tarmac. The idea was to make the airport as environmentally friendly and cost-effective as possible,” said Nicole.

Daniel added, “The greener SAN can be, the better the environment for the surrounding community can be.”

Team Marketing and IT: Be Kind to Your Neighbors

Marketing intern Stephanie and IT’s Shan took a look at the Community strategy.

“The main concept of our piece was to display the physical proximity of the airport to its community stakeholders, in order to emphasize the variety of resulting issues for which the Airport Authority takes responsive action,” explained Stephanie.

The model shows the nearby communities of Old Town, Banker’s Hill and Downtown, as well as the San Diego harbor. The pair hoped to emphasize the importance of remaining responsive to the community, and gave examples of ways in which the Airport Authority is putting this strategy into action, such as through its Quieter Home Program and the flight curfew.

Team PR and HR: “Lego Viral!”

HR’s Kyle and I, from Public Relations, tied the Customer and Community strategies into our Lego sculpture.

“Social media serves as a key vehicle in the distribution of information to the public and employees,” said Kyle. We employed the Facebook logo as a symbol of being social, and as for us—we’re wired in.

The Ambassablog, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and now Pinterest— these are great examples of how the Airport Authority is facilitating two-way communication with our publics, and it all comes back to our strategies.

Melissa from the Airport Authority’s Art Program judged the Lego contest, naming Shan and Stephanie of Team Marketing and IT the big winners for their Community strategy sculpture.

The activity was a blast—and a blast from the past—for the interns. It allowed us to apply the Airport Authority’s strategies in creative and memorable ways.

Remember, it’s never too late to dig into a bucket of Legos—it’s, er, strategic!


The Day a Dream Came True at SDIA

By Guest Ambassablogger Cynthia of the Airport Authority’s Marketing & Communications Division 

You may have heard the news or been one of the eager watchers here at the airport on March 12 when the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flew into town. Boeing brought the aircraft in for a personal visit with those folks who helped build her. If you were not one of those special few, you will have a chance to see the Dreamliner beginning in December, when Japan Airlines starts nonstop flights between San Diego and Tokyo, Japan. Initial service will be four times a week, with daily service scheduled to begin in March 2013.

I watched the 787’s approach from the airports’ Operations Duty Managers Office. Her approach reminded me of watching a graceful ballerina during her final movements of a performance. The pilot touched down with a gentle landing and was rewarded with a round of applause — which I’m sure he was oblivious to. It was truly a treat to watch this aircraft maneuver across the runway and park in her overnight spot at Landmark Aviation.

The 787’s got big windows!

Here are a few specs on the new Dreamliner so you can impress your friends or be prepared for your next round of trivia:

  • The 787-8 will use 20% less fuel than the Boeing 767 it is designed to replace.
  • It has a base passenger configuration of 224 seats, but airlines are configuring the aircraft with as few as 186 seats and as many as 240 seats, depending on the type of service they are providing.
  • Its range is from 5,500 – 7,200 nautical miles, depending on the amount of passengers and cargo carried.
  • It is 186 feet long and 56 feet high with a wingspan of 197’3” and has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85.
  • The 787-8 has a larger sister that will be available in 2015. She has similar fuel economy, is 20 feet longer, seats 259 passengers in a standard configuration and can carry a greater payload over the same distances as the 787-8.

If you’re like me and always wanted to visit Asia, a nonstop flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport, with its hub operations connecting to many Asian destinations, could be the first step in getting there. It’s time to start saving for the trip. Now where did I put that piggy bank?

%d bloggers like this: