vedatil4
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could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:57 am

I'm putting this question out there for the airliners.net community to ponder and fill me in on the technical feasibility:

Is it possible for a Mexican carrier flying out of TIJ airport, accessed by the CBX bridge from the San Diego side of the border, to operate flights into the United States?

I'm thinking that Volaris, who has a hanger in TJ and is expanding routes into the US, could make this work someday. But is it technically possible? It seems like almost cabotage. People would step outside the US for a few hundred feet just to fly back into the US on a foreign carrier.

I envision something like instead of flying SAN to JFK, for example, people would use the CBX bridge to cross the border southbound, go through Mexican immigration&customs, then catch a Volaris or other Mexican carrier flight out of TIJ to JFK, or other major city, on the US side of the border. On the way back people would fly JFK to TIJ, go through Mexican immigration&customs, go across the border northbound on the CBX bridge, then go through US immigration&customs to get back to San Diego.

I admit this is a very convoluted process to get from SAN to JFK. However for people already familiar with Volaris and the CBX crossing process, like me, these types of flights might work if the ticket price difference makes the convoluted procedure worthwhile. Maybe instead of a 1am flight to Cancun Volaris could use the same plane to fly to JFK. They also wouldn't have competition at that late hour because of the curfew at SAN.

My question again, is this even a possibility? Most of the flight would be over the US but on a Mexican carrier. I'm thinking "yes" because people, in theory, could go from Seattle to Vancouver to catch a Westjet flight there to New York. In that case, they'd use a Canadian carrier to fly back into and over the US.

I hope this is good food for thought. All insights will be appreciated. :-)
 
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LAXintl
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Wed Sep 18, 2019 2:37 am

You realize a Mexican carrier would likely have a significant pricing disadvantage vs SAN due to international fees and taxes involved plus the CBX fee. Same reason why US carriers have largely dropped Mexico service from SAN. In addition, a US traveller would need to have a passport as they would be arriving back in the U.S on an international flight.
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blacksoviet
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:07 am

Sounds like a lot of wasted time dealing with immigration four times.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:34 pm

No, it is not technically possible. You are speaking of airlines of the U.S. - in full domestic flights - using a foreign airport. They are landing on foreign soil, and would have to go through Mexican customs upon arrival, necessitating extra charges for passengers.

The only thing that is on American soil is the American half of the pedestrian bridge crossing over the border. Everything else belongs to Mexico - the terminals, the runway, etc.

I realize you might be comparing TIJ to an airport like Basel/Mulhouse, where one exits to different areas depending on one's destination, but that is not the case here.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:07 pm

blacksoviet wrote:
Sounds like a lot of wasted time dealing with immigration four times.


Yes, the way the CBX bridge works now would make you waste lots of time. But I know that the TIJ owners are trying to build some kind of "no-mans-land" type of terminal so that people can catch flights to/from China without going through Mexican immigration and customs.

If you study the project's rendering carefully (pause and focus on signage), you'll see what I mean around at around the 50second mark for northbound passengers (also shows the staircase for people going southbound on the right side) and the 1min 58sec mark for southbound passengers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWw3dB9xvnc. At those points passengers going in either direction get to choose not to go through Mexican immigration.

There already flights to China from TJ that would benefit from this new kind of terminal. You can see in the rendering that it's an Aeromexico flight coming from Shanghai at baggage claim. But I'm thinking Volaris or another carrier could use the same terminal for a flight back into the US. I don't see a problem with TIJ saying it's an international flight to/from JFK instead of China unless some kind of international law prohibits it (my original question).
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:08 pm

LAXintl wrote:
You realize a Mexican carrier would likely have a significant pricing disadvantage vs SAN due to international fees and taxes involved plus the CBX fee. Same reason why US carriers have largely dropped Mexico service from SAN. In addition, a US traveller would need to have a passport as they would be arriving back in the U.S on an international flight.


A solid point. I forgot about the taxes (can't avoid 'em). However, I can see a 1am flight to New York, for example, being competitive for the flight departure and landing times. Maybe the increased price would be worthwhile if people arrived at a good time.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:23 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
No, it is not technically possible. You are speaking of airlines of the U.S. - in full domestic flights - using a foreign airport. They are landing on foreign soil, and would have to go through Mexican customs upon arrival, necessitating extra charges for passengers.

The only thing that is on American soil is the American half of the pedestrian bridge crossing over the border. Everything else belongs to Mexico - the terminals, the runway, etc.

I realize you might be comparing TIJ to an airport like Basel/Mulhouse, where one exits to different areas depending on one's destination, but that is not the case here.


In my proposed hypothetical scenario, it would be a Mexican carrier flying back into the US to a major destination like JFK or Miami. If a US carrier used TIJ, then yes, the crew would end up having to go through Mexican immigration and customs as you pointed out. An American carrier using TIJ for SAN seems too much a stretch.

I responded to someone else's post with a link to a youtube video from an architecture firm working on the new TIJ terminal project. For now let's imagine a Volaris flight from TIJ to JFIK waiting for passengers using this new facility where they get to pick not to go through Mexican customs. :-)
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:39 pm

vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
No, it is not technically possible. You are speaking of airlines of the U.S. - in full domestic flights - using a foreign airport. They are landing on foreign soil, and would have to go through Mexican customs upon arrival, necessitating extra charges for passengers.

The only thing that is on American soil is the American half of the pedestrian bridge crossing over the border. Everything else belongs to Mexico - the terminals, the runway, etc.

I realize you might be comparing TIJ to an airport like Basel/Mulhouse, where one exits to different areas depending on one's destination, but that is not the case here.


In my proposed hypothetical scenario, it would be a Mexican carrier flying back into the US to a major destination like JFK or Miami. If a US carrier used TIJ, then yes, the crew would end up having to go through Mexican immigration and customs as you pointed out. An American carrier using TIJ for SAN seems too much a stretch.

I responded to someone else's post with a link to a youtube video from an architecture firm working on the new TIJ terminal project. For now let's imagine a Volaris flight from TIJ to JFIK waiting for passengers using this new facility where they get to pick not to go through Mexican customs. :-)


Understood.

What you propose, however, is Americans flying on a foreign airline between two American locations. In its current iteration, no. It had been discussed in the past, however, of using the two parallel runways of TIJ and Brown Field in this form, but the semi-remote location of the South Bay and the complexities of who exactly would be in charge - not to mention the hysteria of allowing Mexicans anywhere near American soil without visas (even if they were only using TIJ) killed any semblance of the plan.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:49 pm

LAXintl wrote:
You realize a Mexican carrier would likely have a significant pricing disadvantage vs SAN due to international fees and taxes involved plus the CBX fee. Same reason why US carriers have largely dropped Mexico service from SAN. In addition, a US traveller would need to have a passport as they would be arriving back in the U.S on an international flight.


I forgot to address the passport part of yor post. Yes, passengers would need to bring one even with the possible "no mans land" at TIJ since the flight on Volaris to JFK would be international. They would have to pass US immigration after landing at JFK. I'm not sure if Mexico would have to check them in TIJ on the way back from JFK though. The rendering makes it seem like passengers would get to choose not to go through Mexico immigration and customs and head straight to the US side to be checked there. A
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:02 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
No, it is not technically possible. You are speaking of airlines of the U.S. - in full domestic flights - using a foreign airport. They are landing on foreign soil, and would have to go through Mexican customs upon arrival, necessitating extra charges for passengers.

The only thing that is on American soil is the American half of the pedestrian bridge crossing over the border. Everything else belongs to Mexico - the terminals, the runway, etc.

I realize you might be comparing TIJ to an airport like Basel/Mulhouse, where one exits to different areas depending on one's destination, but that is not the case here.


In my proposed hypothetical scenario, it would be a Mexican carrier flying back into the US to a major destination like JFK or Miami. If a US carrier used TIJ, then yes, the crew would end up having to go through Mexican immigration and customs as you pointed out. An American carrier using TIJ for SAN seems too much a stretch.

I responded to someone else's post with a link to a youtube video from an architecture firm working on the new TIJ terminal project. For now let's imagine a Volaris flight from TIJ to JFIK waiting for passengers using this new facility where they get to pick not to go through Mexican customs. :-)


Understood.

What you propose, however, is Americans flying on a foreign airline between two American locations. In its current iteration, no. It had been discussed in the past, however, of using the two parallel runways of TIJ and Brown Field in this form, but the semi-remote location of the South Bay and the complexities of who exactly would be in charge - not to mention the hysteria of allowing Mexicans anywhere near American soil without visas (even if they were only using TIJ) killed any semblance of the plan.


For now I'm only proposing a foreign carrier, Volaris, flying from TIJ to JFK. Americans, or people allowed to be in the US, would be stepping outside the country a few hours only to fly right back in. But you bring up a good point; there may be people on that possible flight going mostly over US soil that have not been checked by US immigration until they arrive at JFK. Is that a problem? I see foreign carriers from China, for example, crossing US soil to get to Mexico. The people on those flights have not been checked by US officials (as far as I know).
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:15 pm

vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:

In my proposed hypothetical scenario, it would be a Mexican carrier flying back into the US to a major destination like JFK or Miami. If a US carrier used TIJ, then yes, the crew would end up having to go through Mexican immigration and customs as you pointed out. An American carrier using TIJ for SAN seems too much a stretch.

I responded to someone else's post with a link to a youtube video from an architecture firm working on the new TIJ terminal project. For now let's imagine a Volaris flight from TIJ to JFIK waiting for passengers using this new facility where they get to pick not to go through Mexican customs. :-)


Understood.

What you propose, however, is Americans flying on a foreign airline between two American locations. In its current iteration, no. It had been discussed in the past, however, of using the two parallel runways of TIJ and Brown Field in this form, but the semi-remote location of the South Bay and the complexities of who exactly would be in charge - not to mention the hysteria of allowing Mexicans anywhere near American soil without visas (even if they were only using TIJ) killed any semblance of the plan.


For now I'm only proposing a foreign carrier, Volaris, flying from TIJ to JFK. Americans, or people allowed to be in the US, would be stepping outside the country a few hours only to fly right back in. But you bring up a good point; there may be people on that possible flight going mostly over US soil that have not been checked by US immigration until they arrive at JFK. Is that a problem? I see foreign carriers from China, for example, crossing US soil to get to Mexico. The people on those flights have not been checked by US officials (as far as I know).


The legalities of a foreign airline flying this route alone disqualify it. Americans can fly JFK-TIJ if they want (and if a non-stop is offered); however, upon touchdown in a foreign country, American FIS will require them to go through customs, regardless of how close they landed to the border. That's either a taxi ride to the circles of hell known as San Ysidro or Otay Mesa, or use the CBX, which is $30 per person each way, plus the extra cost to get to the passengers' locations in San Diego.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:25 pm

Here's a slightly different way to view my hypothetical question: Is TIJ forever doomed not to be able to have flights into the US such as JFK or MIA just because it's located right along the border and US passengers can walk there to get on the plane? Seems to me like the answer is no. I imagine people in Mexico living in Tijuana probably want to go to New York someday. It's not their fault that an American like me would like to ride their budget airline. :-) Mexico currently has their immigration and customs checking me at TIJ when I fly to Mexico City. But Mexico could choose not to check me if I stayed in the airport and was going to fly straight back into the US, right?
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:36 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

Understood.

What you propose, however, is Americans flying on a foreign airline between two American locations. In its current iteration, no. It had been discussed in the past, however, of using the two parallel runways of TIJ and Brown Field in this form, but the semi-remote location of the South Bay and the complexities of who exactly would be in charge - not to mention the hysteria of allowing Mexicans anywhere near American soil without visas (even if they were only using TIJ) killed any semblance of the plan.


For now I'm only proposing a foreign carrier, Volaris, flying from TIJ to JFK. Americans, or people allowed to be in the US, would be stepping outside the country a few hours only to fly right back in. But you bring up a good point; there may be people on that possible flight going mostly over US soil that have not been checked by US immigration until they arrive at JFK. Is that a problem? I see foreign carriers from China, for example, crossing US soil to get to Mexico. The people on those flights have not been checked by US officials (as far as I know).


The legalities of a foreign airline flying this route alone disqualify it. Americans can fly JFK-TIJ if they want (and if a non-stop is offered); however, upon touchdown in a foreign country, American FIS will require them to go through customs, regardless of how close they landed to the border. That's either a taxi ride to the circles of hell known as San Ysidro or Otay Mesa, or use the CBX, which is $30 per person each way, plus the extra cost to get to the passengers' locations in San Diego.


Agreed, US immigration and customs must check the passengers on a theoretical JFK-TIJ flight to get back into the US at the north end of the CBX bridge. But could Mexico choose not to check them if they didn't leave the airport and stated they're heading straight into the US using the CBX bridge?

Now, if passengers chose to leave the airport heading to Otay Mesa or San Ysidro to cross there, yes, Mexico has to run immigration and customs checks as they leave the airport (that's shown in the rendering). They would be entering Mexico during the taxi ride to get to the normal border crossings, then US immigration and customs checks the passengers there instead of at the CBX.

Is it forever illegal for Volaris to chose to fly from TIJ to all the different airports in the US where they already have a presence? I'm thinking "no" but I post here because the airliners.net community seems to have more airline industry knowledge.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:49 pm

I was going to kick the conversation up a notch by suggesting flights from TIJ to HAV on Cubana (gulp) but let's stick to JFK for now. :-)
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:06 pm

vedatil4 wrote:
Here's a slightly different way to view my hypothetical question: Is TIJ forever doomed not to be able to have flights into the US such as JFK or MIA just because it's located right along the border and US passengers can walk there to get on the plane? Seems to me like the answer is no. I imagine people in Mexico living in Tijuana probably want to go to New York someday. It's not their fault that an American like me would like to ride their budget airline. :-) Mexico currently has their immigration and customs checking me at TIJ when I fly to Mexico City. But Mexico could choose not to check me if I stayed in the airport and was going to fly straight back into the US, right?


For any potential New York-bound passengers from Tijuana, there are two options: 1) TIJ-MEX-NYC or 2) SAN-NYC. Both involve crossing an international border, both require going through customs, and both are possible today.

Also, TIJ-NYC or TIJ-MIA are both possible, but highly improbable. Either an airline from the United States or Mexico is eligible to serve this route, and could start it tomorrow. And when the bean counters see there is a market, the planes will start flying these routes non-stop. But there is absolutely zero chance of utilizing TIJ as a domestic American airport. No matter how close that runway is to American soil, it's never going to happen.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:12 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:
Here's a slightly different way to view my hypothetical question: Is TIJ forever doomed not to be able to have flights into the US such as JFK or MIA just because it's located right along the border and US passengers can walk there to get on the plane? Seems to me like the answer is no. I imagine people in Mexico living in Tijuana probably want to go to New York someday. It's not their fault that an American like me would like to ride their budget airline. :-) Mexico currently has their immigration and customs checking me at TIJ when I fly to Mexico City. But Mexico could choose not to check me if I stayed in the airport and was going to fly straight back into the US, right?


For any potential New York-bound passengers from Tijuana, there are two options: 1) TIJ-MEX-NYC or 2) SAN-NYC. Both involve crossing an international border, both require going through customs, and both are possible today.

Also, TIJ-NYC or TIJ-MIA are both possible, but highly improbable. Either an airline from the United States or Mexico is eligible to serve this route, and could start it tomorrow. And when the bean counters see there is a market, the planes will start flying these routes non-stop. But there is absolutely zero chance of utilizing TIJ as a domestic American airport. No matter how close that runway is to American soil, it's never going to happen.


A-ha! Just as I thought, TIJ-EWR, -JFK, or -MIA on a Mexican airline ARE possible if there's perceived demand to operate those flights and make a profit. It seems like you're agreeing with me on that point. I'm foreseeing that the demand will appear in 10-20 years as people in southern California get more familiar with the CBX bridge when they fly to places in Mexico over the years. Sooner if that "in transit" type of terminal is built.

I'm not proposing a US airline using TIJ as a domestic American airport for the San Diego region. I don't think that'll ever happen. I'm proposing using a Mexican airline"effectively" being used as a domestic carrier. I admit this wouldn't be a good option for most people. Savvy travelers like me already familiar with the CBX bridge and not afraid of crossing the border aren't in the majority. But our numbers are increasing. ;-)

I'm sure I'm not the only one in the San Diego area who already checks flights to the US east coast via MEX, as in TIJ-MEX-JFK you mention, in case it's a much cheaper price than out of SAN. I just hope that someday they take that MEX pit stop out someday and fly non-stop.
 
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:09 pm

vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:
Here's a slightly different way to view my hypothetical question: Is TIJ forever doomed not to be able to have flights into the US such as JFK or MIA just because it's located right along the border and US passengers can walk there to get on the plane? Seems to me like the answer is no. I imagine people in Mexico living in Tijuana probably want to go to New York someday. It's not their fault that an American like me would like to ride their budget airline. :-) Mexico currently has their immigration and customs checking me at TIJ when I fly to Mexico City. But Mexico could choose not to check me if I stayed in the airport and was going to fly straight back into the US, right?


For any potential New York-bound passengers from Tijuana, there are two options: 1) TIJ-MEX-NYC or 2) SAN-NYC. Both involve crossing an international border, both require going through customs, and both are possible today.

Also, TIJ-NYC or TIJ-MIA are both possible, but highly improbable. Either an airline from the United States or Mexico is eligible to serve this route, and could start it tomorrow. And when the bean counters see there is a market, the planes will start flying these routes non-stop. But there is absolutely zero chance of utilizing TIJ as a domestic American airport. No matter how close that runway is to American soil, it's never going to happen.


A-ha! Just as I thought, TIJ-EWR, -JFK, or -MIA on a Mexican airline ARE possible if there's perceived demand to operate those flights and make a profit. It seems like you're agreeing with me on that point. I'm foreseeing that the demand will appear in 10-20 years as people in southern California get more familiar with the CBX bridge when they fly to places in Mexico over the years. Sooner if that "in transit" type of terminal is built.

I'm not proposing a US airline using TIJ as a domestic American airport for the San Diego region. I don't think that'll ever happen. I'm proposing using a Mexican airline"effectively" being used as a domestic carrier. I admit this wouldn't be a good option for most people. Savvy travelers like me already familiar with the CBX bridge and not afraid of crossing the border aren't in the majority. But our numbers are increasing. ;-)

I'm sure I'm not the only one in the San Diego area who already checks flights to the US east coast via MEX, as in TIJ-MEX-JFK you mention, in case it's a much cheaper price than out of SAN. I just hope that someday they take that MEX pit stop out someday and fly non-stop.


You are correct that I am agreeing with you that the use of TIJ airport to U.S. destinations is possible, absolutely. And the theory of what you propose is logistically possible; however, the "in-transit" system of what you propose won't ever happen, simply because (a) Mexican authorities would have to pay to develop this system, implement it, and figure a way to keep domestic Mexican passengers from using it, and (b)American FIS will never allow it. You step out of the U.S. in any way, shape, or form, you go through customs. No "in transit" is allowed whatsoever, and with the "leadership" in the U.S. as it is, it's not likely to ever change.

It's an interesting idea; however, and I get where you are going with it, but the CBX serves one purpose: to get Americans to & from TIJ airport without San Ysidro or Otay Mesa.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:21 pm

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
vedatil4 wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:

For any potential New York-bound passengers from Tijuana, there are two options: 1) TIJ-MEX-NYC or 2) SAN-NYC. Both involve crossing an international border, both require going through customs, and both are possible today.

Also, TIJ-NYC or TIJ-MIA are both possible, but highly improbable. Either an airline from the United States or Mexico is eligible to serve this route, and could start it tomorrow. And when the bean counters see there is a market, the planes will start flying these routes non-stop. But there is absolutely zero chance of utilizing TIJ as a domestic American airport. No matter how close that runway is to American soil, it's never going to happen.


A-ha! Just as I thought, TIJ-EWR, -JFK, or -MIA on a Mexican airline ARE possible if there's perceived demand to operate those flights and make a profit. It seems like you're agreeing with me on that point. I'm foreseeing that the demand will appear in 10-20 years as people in southern California get more familiar with the CBX bridge when they fly to places in Mexico over the years. Sooner if that "in transit" type of terminal is built.

I'm not proposing a US airline using TIJ as a domestic American airport for the San Diego region. I don't think that'll ever happen. I'm proposing using a Mexican airline"effectively" being used as a domestic carrier. I admit this wouldn't be a good option for most people. Savvy travelers like me already familiar with the CBX bridge and not afraid of crossing the border aren't in the majority. But our numbers are increasing. ;-)

I'm sure I'm not the only one in the San Diego area who already checks flights to the US east coast via MEX, as in TIJ-MEX-JFK you mention, in case it's a much cheaper price than out of SAN. I just hope that someday they take that MEX pit stop out someday and fly non-stop.


You are correct that I am agreeing with you that the use of TIJ airport to U.S. destinations is possible, absolutely. And the theory of what you propose is logistically possible; however, the "in-transit" system of what you propose won't ever happen, simply because (a) Mexican authorities would have to pay to develop this system, implement it, and figure a way to keep domestic Mexican passengers from using it, and (b)American FIS will never allow it. You step out of the U.S. in any way, shape, or form, you go through customs. No "in transit" is allowed whatsoever, and with the "leadership" in the U.S. as it is, it's not likely to ever change.

It's an interesting idea; however, and I get where you are going with it, but the CBX serves one purpose: to get Americans to & from TIJ airport without San Ysidro or Otay Mesa.


TIJ is owned mostly by a private company called Grupo Aeropuertuario Pacifico (GAP) instead of the Mexican government. GAP has some very highly qualified people from Spain running the airports they own on the west side of Mexico. Here's a link to their backgrounds: https://www.aeropuertosgap.com.mx/en/se ... -team.html and shown here in a long interview mostly about Guadalajara but listing their airports at 1min 30sec (video in Spanish) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBN7vMJSy-A The architecture firm developing the drawings, Estudio Lamela, is also from Spain. I'm hoping some of these characters have ties to Air Europa or Iberia. Maybe we could get some TIJ-Madrid flights? Anyway, they bring a fresh European perspective to the table free of any US-Mexico tension baggage.

Just like any other private company, I'm sure GAP will try to get maximum return on investment for the new terminal. I'd say they've been successful helping the CBX bridge project to fruition. The number of passengers at TIJ is way up; something like 30% more passengers in a year. If they managed to pull off that sensitive of a project, I'm confident in their abilities to make other cool things happen at TIJ :-) They must be looking for a way to make that new proposed terminal building work with an "in-transit" type area included.

I'm not agreeing with you entirely with the idea of US customs checks going southbound to get to TIJ. I see the CBX and San Ysidro has outbound check x-ray machines or booths but they're only staffed sporadically. Of course, if you flew TIJ-JFK, US customs and immigration would check everyone after they land at JFK. That would include Mexican nationals who got into the possible "in-transit" secure international area of TIJ on the Mexico side of the border.

I keep calling this area "in-transit" because I don't know the correct term to use. But I've seen one in action at Montreal airport. I flew back from deep in Canadian territory but was checked by US immigration there. I think they call it "pre-clearance" which is not what I'm proposing for TIJ. TIJ would be more like these people are only in Mexico for an hour, so calling them "in-transit" seems to fit.

I agree, the CBX is really just a land border crossing to get people to TIJ. But I'm thinking there's an effort being made by the GAP owners to set up a CBX + TIJ (international in-transit) + flights to US or Europe = effectively a US airport. Their goal is to set up a competitor to LAX international. This was mentioned in an interview with the CBX owners but I can't find it on youtube now. It's a very, very lofty goal for sure.
 
vedatil4
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:37 pm

Here's another way of looking this new terminal entirely on the Mexico side of the border: The passengers coming in or leaving its secure area using the CBX could be labeled "in transit" from a Mexico government perspective. From a US government perspective, those people have already left the US. They'll be checked by immigration and customs again at the CBX when they go northbound (sometimes southbound?) or wherever they enter the US again (JFK in my example).
 
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:20 pm

Here's a little gem of a video I found about the recently remodeled TIJ airport. If you stop the video at the 2min mark, the new terminal will be built behind where the bus is shown. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TYfCs0v-kE. Not shown in the video is the existing separated walkway (secure?) from the Hainan Airlines gate, let's call it, to the international baggage claim area. I imagine most of the people on that Hainan flight coming from Beijing are really heading to San Diego or LA. Currently they pick up their bags, go through Mexican customs and immigration, then to the CBX, then to US customs and immigration to get to the US side of the border. If the TIJ airport owners, GAP, figure a way to delete the Mexican customs and immigration step with some kind of secure "in-transit" area, they reckon they could have more international flights with an entering-the-US process" easier than at LAX (the goal). I'm proposing a TIJ-JFK or JFK-TIJ flight that could use one of those two already existing gates and the possible "in-transit" area they're planning to build.
 
vedatil4
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Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:38 pm

side topic: Here's a good write-up of the unusual Hainan TIJ-PEK flight shown in the video. Some of the pictures in this article are dated because TIJ has been remodeled recently. https://www.sanspotter.com/2018/06/a-qu ... o-beijing/
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:09 am

vedatil4 wrote:
Is it possible for a Mexican carrier flying out of TIJ airport, accessed by the CBX bridge from the San Diego side of the border, to operate flights into the United States?


The original proposal in 1990 was to keep passengers in "no man's land" so that they could fly to airports in the USA. The idea was to replace San Diego airport entirely. That idea was deemed impractical, partly because you are so far away from all the money in North County.

A possible variation would be to install a "pre-clearance" facility in Tijuana similar to the one in 8 Canadian airports plus Shannon and Dublin in Ireland. This would allow all passengers to be pre-cleared to land in US airports without having to go through customs. Mexican Nationals would go through the pre-clearance as well. While not eliminating the need to go through customs it should speed it up, especially if the passengers coming across the CBX are kept in a tightly controlled area under camera surveillance to look for packages being passed to them.

Volaris is adding its 35th Mexican destination from TIJ later this year, and they fly to the following US destinations (not from Tijuana). If the Volaris destination is one of the 10 most popular from SAN, it is shown with a ranking number.
#2 DEN Denver
#3 SEA Seattle/Tacoma
#4 PHX Phoenix
#5 SJC San Jose
#6 LAS Las Vegas
#7 SMF Sacramento
#10 OAK Oakland
LAX Los Angeles
MCO Orlando
MDW Chicago

In the past there have been TIJ-LAX and TIJ-OAK flights but they didn't last.

As TIJ-SAN is 18 air miles apart, looking at 9 miles from the San Ysidro crossing gives us a population of 389,000 out of a San Diego county population of 3.338 million (2017).

I feel that is a good ballpark number of the SD county population that might find it easier to fly from TIJ than SAN is half a million, especially if the price is lower. I think the upper limit is a million people. I don't personally believe that people will drive down from North county to fly to JFK via TIJ even if the price is low.

I remind people that SAN airport is at 24 MAP in 2018 and increasing at the rate of roughly 1 million per year. The projections done in 2004 believed that flights on the single runway would start being constrained at 26 MAP. However, the introduction of 175 seat jets by Southwest in the year 2012 instead of 143 seat jets, the almost complete elimination of turboprops and some other changes means that constraints may not begin until 30 million air passengers per year.

After 30 years of proposals to try and avoid customs entirely, I think it is high time to give it up and go ahead with pre-clearance facility instead. If Volaris starts half a dozen routes to the USA from TIJ airport that would make a big difference in adding several years to the life of SAN airport.

The latest numbers from DHS are 30,000 people per week crossing from TIJ to USA via CBX. US customs does not count people going into Mexico, but that number is smaller. The reason is that (especially if you are going with a family) it is not that difficult to walk across the border at Otay Mesa or San Ysidro and take a cab to the TIJ airport. At $16 a person for a family of four that may seem ridiculous. But upon returning from Mexican destination, it takes a lot less time to enter the USA via the CBX.

As TIJ averages roughly 75,000 passengers per week arriving at the TIJ airport a significant portion actually live in San Diego county. They are already used to crossing the CBX to go to visit friends and family in Mexico or to fly to GDL, MEX, MTY on business.
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:49 am

As of the last census, 31.3% of the population of SD county were Hispanic or Latino of any race and 21.9% spoke Spanish, at home. Obviously most of the patrons of the CBX are Mexican-Americans.

The pre-clearance facility could be perceived as having the potential to build up to a dedicated walkway from the USA with a no man's land. Personally, I don't think that can be done without a new bridge, but if the passenger load reaches several million passengers coming from SD county to fly to USA airports, the expense of a new bridge may seem reasonable compared to the billions of dollars to improve SAN airport. The CBX cost $120 million, but an additional bridge might not be nearly that much.

The pre-clearance facility would then change it's function to serving Mexican Nationals only.

Once again the current numbers are
30,000 people per week one way crossing CBX into the USA;
75,000 people per week landing at TIJ airport;
230,000 people per week landing at SAN airport.
24,000 people per week one way from SAN to 4 airports in San Francisco area (potential to share with TIJ);
 
vedatil4
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:38 pm

Re: could CBX bridge w/TIJ be used for flights into US?

Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:11 am

Thanks for the technical breakdown PacoMartin. I remember the TwinPorts idea from back in the early 90s. Another problem with the proposal was the US side of the border would have Otay Mountain to the east.

You bring up an interesting idea of a separate bridge with a US pre-clearance area on the Mexico side. But I think the CBX people are still recovering from the regulatory hell they went through to build the existing bridge. They probably want to focus on maximizing the use of existing bridge before attempting to add another bridge.

What I find extremely weird is the practically non-existent ad campaign to make more non-Mexican-Americans aware of their CBX service. I can tell you that even a few days before the grand opening I wasn't 100% sure if it was even going to open. It's more or less word-of-mouth that's bringing them business.

For now let's focus on getting some kind of "in-transit" or "pre-clearance" area on the Mexican side of the border using the existing bridge. My experience has been that Mexican customs and immigration can be bottleneck on holiday weekends. I've almost missed flights. So it would be good if the TIJ airport owners, GAP, can somehow "find a way". :-)

Maybe Volaris could fly TIJ-Seattle or TIJ-PHX someday just to see how many non-Mexican-American people they can lure over from the San Diego side of the border. If they flew to Payne Field north of Seattle, they could also attract Canadians looking for a bargain. I've seen some of them at the CBX already. The savvy travelers among them know to fly SEA-SAN then TIJ-points in Mexico.

What I find extremely weird about San Diego's relationship with the CBX is the not even having a bus route there. That's the least that could be done. It's almost like the town is in denial the CBX exists when it was built for their benefit not for Tijuana's. San Diego is effectively outsourcing flights to Mexico. My proposal is to take the next step and to also effectively outsource domestic flights. I'll fly Volaris over Southwest on any day.

I agree that exploring expanding connectivity using the CBX w/TIJ is cheaper and could be implemented much more quickly than building a terminal or transportation hub at SAN.

BTW: I think there's already a US customs pre-clearance type facility for trucking operating in Tijuana. So the Mexican government has already shown willingness to allow US personnel on their territory. I

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