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San Diego Airport issues RFQ for cargo terminal

The San Diego International Airport is seeking input from the private sector for the development and operation of a new air cargo terminal.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is inviting the private sector to submit Statements of Qualifications (SOQs) for the design, construction, financing, operation and sublease of a new air cargo facility that will occupy nearly 100,000 square feet.

Interested parties will have until February 17, 2016 to respond to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) the agency issued earlier this week.

The project, which also includes building an aircraft apron able to accommodate 10 aircraft, is part of the Master Plan the airport authority adopted in 2008 to improve and upgrade the airport to meet passenger demand, which is expected to reach capacity in 2035. The airport served nearly 19 million passengers in 2014.

This will be the second time a project is being delivered as a public-private partnership (PPP; P3) in the airport's history. The first was a new Receiving and Distribution Centre that opened in November 2012.  

Last month, the agency announced that it had agreed on a preferred concept for the Airport Development Plan (ADP), the next master-planning phase for the airport, which includes replacing Terminal 1. It has not yet decided whether the Terminal 1 project or the ADP more broadly will be procured as a P3, but according to a spokesperson for the San Diego International Airport “the airport authority has neither ruled in nor ruled out any financing vehicles.”

For the replacement of Terminal 1, the airport authority board chose from five design concepts, opting for Alternative 5, which can be built in the shortest period of time and at a lower cost. According to the SDIA’s website, Alternative 5 provides a unified terminal design, providing seamless connectivity to all terminals, amenities and passenger services. Its estimated cost is $2.2 billion.

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority was created on January 1, 2003, as an independent agency to manage the day-to-day operations of San Diego International Airport and address the region’s long-term air transportation needs.