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Airport Authority chairman lays out development plans

Getting to and from Lindbergh Field could get easier. There's a plan in the works to create a trolley stop at the airport.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Terminal 2 expansion at Lindbergh Field will be completely open to the public on Aug. 13, and future airport development plans include a first-ever hookup with the region's trolley system, the chairman of the board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said Wednesday.

In a presentation to the City Council's Rules and Economic Development Committee, Robert Gleason said parts of the expanded terminal are already open, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Aug. 8.

The expansion added 10 gates, which are already in use, along with new food and shopping choices for passengers. A bi-level roadway will also be opened for arriving and departing passengers.

Future development will include a connection with the San Diego Trolley at a comprehensive transit center on the north side of the airport. The center being planned by the San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning agency, would sit along Pacific Highway between Sassafrass and Washington streets, Gleason said.

"As currently envisioned, that project would consolidate the light rail, rail and bus operations to that station," Gleason told the committee members. "Those passengers wishing to access the airport would then cross a pedestrian bridge across Pacific Highway (to) airport property, and we would shuttle those passengers (to the terminals)."

Right now, trolley riders who want to go to Lindbergh Field have to catch a bus from downtown.

A multi-story car rental center would be built right across the street from the transit center, Gleason said. Also on the north side of the airport, Landmark Aviation will construct a new facility for general aviation aircraft, he said.

He said the airport authority is in the midst of planning to replace the gates in Terminal 1, the oldest of the three terminals at Lindbergh Field.