New airport terminal spans two countries

Kimberly Adams Dec 9, 2015
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New airport terminal spans two countries

Kimberly Adams Dec 9, 2015
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There’s a new airport terminal opening in San Diego Wednesday, but it’s not connected to the San Diego International Airport. The new Cross Border Xpress terminal lets ticketed passengers walk over one of the most fortified borders in the world into and out of Mexico for flights from the Tijuana International Airport.

The project reflects growing economic ties in the region, said Chris Wilson, deputy director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

“So we have, you know, six times as much commerce as we had in 1993, said Wilson, “and it’s largely happening on the same infrastructure that’s existed for decades in the region.”

The Tijuana airport is right on the U.S.-Mexico border, so it’s only a five-minute walk to get there from the new terminal entrance in San Diego. That’s according to Elizabeth Brown, the chief commercial officer for Cross Border Xpress.

“Essentially, we’re an airport terminal building, but our runways are in Mexico,” she said. The company predicts this will save time for the estimated 60 percent of Tijuana airport passengers coming from San Diego and help ease congestion at the regular border crossing.

While this project is privately funded, government workers still handle customs and immigration on both sides. Only ticketed passengers will be allowed on the long, purple bridge for an $18 fee.

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