San Diego International Airport (SAN) won the 2018 Most Innovative Large Hub Award from the Airport Innovation Accelerator (AIA) Tuesday and a $12.1 million grant from the Department of Transportation in June.
“It shows that we are a leader in our industry,” SAN spokesperson Rebecca Bloomfield said.
Airport Authority President and CEO Kimberly Becker attributes SAN’s innovation win to its “unique characteristics” and commitment to environmental care.
One environmental innovation is SAN’s Good Traveler program that allows flyers to purchase credit that SAN invests in clean energy and land restoration projects.
The offset program asks for $2 for every thousand miles traveled.
Other airports have adopted SAN’s Good Traveler program, according to Bloomfield.
Bloomfield also notes the Airport Innovation Lab as to why SAN stood out for AIA’s award.
The lab is a working terminal that allows companies to test new services for passengers.
It successfully launched @YourGate at SAN, which helps passengers navigate airport spaces by having food and other items delivered right to them.
SAN received AIA’s award Tuesday at the American Associations of Airport Executives’ Airport Innovation Forum in Atlanta, Georgia.
Additionally, the $12.1 million grant from June will be used to rehabilitate SAN’s taxiways to be safer and more efficient, according to Bloomfield.
Construction is set to begin in October and should finish within eight months.
“And about $1.1 million is expected to go to small and local businesses,” Bloomfield said.
The grant is part of a $3 billion deal by the Airport Improvement Program to renovate run- and taxiways across the country.