The $316 million rental car center at Lindbergh Field opened to the public Wednesday, providing a central location for 14 companies and potentially reducing traffic on the main road past the airport's terminals.
The 2 million-square-foot facility is off Pacific Highway on the north side of the airport. It has capacity for 5,000 cars.
Passengers will be shuttled from the terminals by 16 alternative-fuel buses that will use a route that stays within the airport's boundaries, replacing 81 buses operated by the rental companies. Airport officials hope that change, combined with a reduction of rental car traffic, will reduce congestion on North Harbor Drive.
"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 Chairman 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."
The building, which is a candidate for a sustainability certification, also features three works of public art. A fourth is expected to debut later this year, according to airport officials.