San Diego International Airport’s (SDIA) 12 rental car companies used to be located in separate facilities at various locations around the airport and on Harbor Island, one of the city’s choicest pieces of real estate. Consolidating them into a shared facility at another site on the airport’s property allows this valuable land to be freed up for better uses while improving travelers’ efficiency, relieving traffic congestion, and improving air quality. The project reflects a common move in the aviation industry: most major urban airports are doing it, and each has just one opportunity to get it right.


Execution of the project is challenging because SDIA is not only landlocked (it’s wedged into a space between the runway, the main highway, and the Pacific Ocean) but “air” locked as well (takeoffs and landings impose height restrictions for construction equipment). To succeed, Sundt and our joint venture partner had to master the logistics of erecting cranes near flight paths, deliver more than 10,200 truckloads of concrete to an airport that operates 24/7 (while minimizing impact on travelers), and meet the customer’s demand for high quality, architectural grade concrete.


When complete, the two-million-square-foot rental car center will house the 12 rental car companies and a customer service building, a quick-turn-around car preparation facility, and a 5,000-car ready/return area.


San Diego County Regional Airport Authority


Rental Car Center