San Diego — The new consolidated Rental Car Center officially opened for business at San Diego International Airport. The 2 million-square-foot Rental Car Center houses 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.
The new facility replaces the group of buildings on Harbor Drive that have for years housed most rental car companies serving the airport. In a related change, all rental car customers will be carried to and from the terminals in 16 new alternative-fuel shuttles owned and operated by the Airport Authority. This fleet replaces the approximately 81 shuttles now operated by the rental car companies.
“When I look at the new Rental Car Center, I see a facility that does it all,” said San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board Chair Robert Gleason. “It improves the customer experience from start to finish; it helps us maximize use of our 661-acre footprint in a sustainable way; and it bolsters the airport’s role as a key economic driver.”
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.
The new shuttle buses will operate almost exclusively on a new interior airport roadway.
“With this facility, we’re helping to ease congestion on Harbor Drive while reducing the airport’s overall carbon footprint,” said Thella F. Bowens, the Airport Authority’s President/CEO.
The building, which is a candidate for LEED Silver certification, also features three new works of public art, with a fourth expected to debut later this year.
Fourteen rental car company brands are operating out of the facility, which can accommodate up to 19 brands in total. The facility has room for more than 5,000 cars.
The $316 million facility generated approximately 4,600 construction jobs, with $186 million in construction contracts going to local businesses, of that $70.4 million went to small businesses.