San Diego Airport Federal Inspection Station (International Arrivals Facility)

The new Federal Inspection Station serves as an international arrival experience within a secure environment at the airport. The new facility makes entering the country as intuitive and calming as possible for passengers. As they disembark, passengers are greeted with natural light and views to San Diego’s impressive skylines.

A “bags first” system design allows passengers to pick up their checked luggage before proceeding to a single checkpoint. The latest advances from U.S. Customs and Border Protection dramatically changed the screening process, allowing most passengers to get through customs in less than 20 minutes. As passengers collect their bags they are greeted by a 300-foot glass art wall which features abstracted x-ray images of carry-on bags, each bag’s contents tell a unique story and intrigue visitors as they wait for their own bag.

After travelers clear customs, they exit into the new International Arrivals Hall, a public meet-and-greet space with soaring windows and another unique art piece. The art piece is made up of twenty-five gracefully spiraling ladders suspended from the ceiling. A single ladder extends out across the space as a symbol of the airport being a place where hundreds of individual journeys converge and depart.

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  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    3225 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

    Project Owner/Developer:

    San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

    Project Architect/Designer:


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P.O. Box 122228
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