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Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Airport Hires PR Firm to Work on Looming Lindbergh Project

To help educate city residents about a planned $700 million improvement project at Lindbergh Field, the agency that manages the airport recently hired a public relations firm for a $4.5 million, three-year contract.

The contract approved April 3 by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority calls for Porter Novelli to provide assistance for a public outreach campaign.

The project, in the planning stages for several years, entails expanding Terminal 2 by 10 gates, which would increase the total number of gates to 51; constructing an overnight parking area for jets that must be grounded because of flight restrictions; building a multi-level garage next to Terminal 2 to include an elevated roadway leading into the terminal; and other road improvements.

The airport has completed an environmental impact report on the project set to be certified May 1.

Porter Novelli, based in New York, with offices in Orange County and San Diego, is the same firm retained by the authority last year for a similar outreach campaign involving the project’s environmental report. That contract was worth $500,000.

The new contract has a maximum cap of $1.5 million annually, with any increase requiring board approval, said airport spokesman Steve Shultz.

For a project this scope, the airport authority needed to conduct a large amount of public outreach, which the firm is experienced in doing, Shultz said.

The tasks range from: conducting public meetings to address the project’s various elements such as impact on noise and traffic; preparing and distributing materials about the improvements through a variety of media; educating the public about the joint planning; and helping to facilitate collaboration among several other agencies, including the city of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Governments, the regional planning agency, and local transit departments.

Assuming the project’s environment report is certified, the project would begin in the summer of 2009 and be completed in 2012.

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