Airline Use and Lease Agreement (AULA)—San Diego, CA

Adding the Final Terminal to a Major Hub Airport

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority owns and operates San Diego International Airport. Located just 3 miles from busy downtown San Diego, the airport is tightly nestled between the city, ocean and mountains, with no room to grow beyond one last terminal project.  While this critical capital improvement project was being considered, the Airline Use and Lease Agreement (AULA) for SAN was also expiring.  The Authority needed a new, modern AULA that would address critical issues such as gate rights, rates and charges while also addressing the last major capital project at the airport.  To do this successfully, the airport needed legal counsel with the critical knowledge to level the playing field with the airlines so that the airport could secure an agreement that was fair, effective and protective.

The Path to a Successful AULA

Known for their large-hub AULA experience, the A&K team worked closely with the Authority and its financial consultant to develop and execute a comprehensive negotiation strategy.  A&K’s depth of experience with large-hub AULA’s provided the Authority with valuable insights on developing rules to foster competition and maximize the utilization of gates, maintaining airport control over the capital program, and addressing unique issues related to sustainability and off-airport transportation projects.  A&K also helped the Authority to identify and adopt best practices, avoid common stumbling blocks and find ways to work towards mutually favorable outcomes with the airlines. And when a more forceful approach was needed, A&K’s reputation as a strong advocate for airport interests shone through. The final result was a new, modern AULA tailored to SAN’s particular needs and goals.