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San Diego International Airport celebrates major construction milestone with Rental Car Center “Topping Out” ceremony

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SAN DIEGO – June 16, 2015 – San Diego International Airport celebrated a major milestone today in the $316 million Rental Car Center’s construction: completion of the 2,000,000-square-foot facility’s innovative concrete facade.

Scheduled to open in January 2016, the Rental Car Center will house most of the rental car companies serving the airport, including national brands, as well as local, independent and small business rental car companies, in one central location off Pacific Highway.

“This new Rental Car Center is the latest in a series of major improvements we’ve made to the north side of the airfield,” said San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board Chair Robert Gleason.  “This facility, combined with the Landmark Aviation fixed-base operator building and the new consolidated Receiving and Distribution Center, will streamline airport operations.  In addition, this particular project will greatly improve the customer experience for the traveling public who rent cars at San Diego International Airport.”

Currently, most rental car companies serving the airport are based in a number of buildings on North Harbor Drive. Moving the rental car companies to the north side of the airport and consolidating them into one building will dramatically reduce rental car traffic on Harbor Drive, as well as the number of shuttle buses competing with passengers getting to and from the airport.

“Not only will we pull most of the shuttles off Harbor Drive, we will actually reduce the total number of rental car shuttles from 81 down to 16 – with all of them operating on a newly built interior airport roadway,” said Thella F. Bowens, the Airport Authority’s President and CEO. “And all of the new shuttle buses will use alternative fuels.”

The Airport Authority also unveiled the new rental car shuttle fleet at the event.

Airport Authority Board Member Lloyd Hubbs and Austin/Sundt Senior Vice President Ralph Ketchum also spoke at today’s ceremony, which was attended by more than 100 people.

At the end of the event, the last of 854 pre-cast concrete panels that make up the unique “skin” of the building was hoisted into place. Many of the guests and construction workers involved in the project signed the back of the panel before it was installed.

Once it’s complete, 10 rental car companies representing 16 brands will operate out of the building, which has room for more than 5,000 cars. 

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