Recently the San Diego Regional Airport Authority authorized $385,000 to study the potential of a binational terminal at Otay Mesa/Mesa de Otay. Last month, the concept received official support from Mexico’s Under Secretary of Transportation, Manuel Rodriguez Aguerri who told Mexico’s daily newspaper, the Excelsior, on Jan. 29, that the “concept [of a Binational Aiport] is a valid one.”
Rodriguez highlighted the success of Mexican air carrier, Volaris’s binational air shuttle which provides regular bus service between Tijuana Rodriguez Airport and the Santa Fe Train Depot downtown. According to Rodriguez, “Whether one should have a binational airport, the case of Volaris helps us clearly see that there is a market [for such a concept.]” Volaris’ San Diego shuttle is only $165 pesos or U.S. $15.
While securing the necessary presidential permits for a binational air terminal could take some time, a nearer-term solution could be a San Diego airport authority sponsored binational shuttle bus service that was run binationally between Tijuana’s Rodriguez and Lindbergh Field to facilitate connections between U.S. carriers and Mexican air carriers. Such a shuttle would be similar to the Washington Flyer service between Dulles Airport and Washington National. I am confident that such a service could become quite popular and would provide real tangible benefits to not just San Diegans but other travelers from throughout the Southwest, especially considering the fact that Rodriguez Field has many more air connections throughout the Republic of Mexico than does LAX. Rodriguez Field now also has nonstop service to Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
So, should a binational air shuttle be pursued? I know that I would use it. How about a binational air terminal at Otay with an express trolley service to Lindbergh? What do other readers think?