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Commissioners Approve $1B in Funding for LAX Work

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners unanimously approved to appropriate more than $1 billion in funding for the final and largest part of the $14.5 billion modernization of Los Angeles International Airport.

This final phase paves the way for Los Angeles World Airports to acquire Terminals 4 and 5 from American Airlines, which is administering the ongoing work in the terminals that will cost about $1.62 billion.

“In approving the acquisition of more than $1 billion in terminal improvements, Los Angeles World Airports is investing in a future for LAX that is environmentally sustainable, innovative and exceptional,” said Sean Burton, President, Board of Airport Commissioners. “In partnership with American Airlines, LAX's new Terminals 4 and 5 reflect our gold-standard vision and will create construction jobs for our local community.”

The transformation of the space is being conducted with the 2028 Olympics in mind—a new pedestrian bridge will connect the two terminals to a new Automated People Mover train. In addition, the terminal vertical core also will include new passenger check-in and baggage claim facilities, a consolidated security screening checkpoint, a new headhouse area for passenger processing and a new post-security connection between Terminals 4 and 5.

Los Angeles World Airports

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners unanimously approved to appropriate more than $1 billion in funding for the final and largest part of the $14.5 billion modernization of Los Angeles International Airport.

The vertical core is also slated to provide office and support spaces for airlines, the Transportation Security Administration and other law enforcement agencies. The facade of the vertical core will match design elements of other cores that are currently under construction.

“American Airlines is building a terminal for tomorrow, a substantial multi-year commitment to modernize our hub at LAX,” said American's Vice President of Corporate Real Estate Kirk Hotelling. “When complete, the upgraded facility will create an entirely reimagined customer experience from end-to-end with a reconfigured ticketing area, more efficient security checkpoints, upgraded gate area amenities, state-of-the-art finishes and expanded retail and dining options.”

A new south concourse will be constructed inside Terminal 4, and will feature additional space for hold rooms, concessions, restrooms and a bus gate that will serve both domestic and international traffic. Two existing gates will also be rebuilt to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Stations. Improvements will also be made to the north concourse that officials say will increase the efficiency of passenger movements.

Additional work includes: improvements to Terminal 4 power systems, including transformers and backup power; replacement of the terminal's aircraft apron; and a reconfiguration of its hydrant fueling system and underground utilities.

All of the items approved by the Board of Airport Commissioners now go to the Los Angeles City Council for its approval.

LAX Project History

Much of the work so far has been focused around LAX terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B).

According to reports, the Delta Air Lines-led project—known as Delta Sky Way—officially kicked off in May 2018 after the Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners approved the project, reported to have been the largest tenant improvement award in its history.

The approval was then followed by a series of projects, with Delta partnering with the Satterfield & Pontikes and STV joint venture, to enable for larger demolition and construction efforts to begin. Enabling work involved the relocation of the Terminal 3 security screening checkpoint, temporary bus gate set up and the realignment of jet bridges.

By April 2019, demolition efforts had officially kicked off on Terminal 3, marking the start of phase one for the Delta Sky Way project. The announcement by Delta was joined by representatives from LAWA, contractor Hensel Phelps, and design firms Gensler and Arup.

“Nearly 10 years ago, we made a commitment to be LA's premier, premium airline. Today, LAX is one of the most important hubs in our network where we operate more than 170 daily flights and connect more passengers to our partner airlines than anywhere else in the U.S.,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian at the time.

“The Delta Sky Way at LAX project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in and transform the airport experience in partnership with LAWA and the City of Los Angeles. Delta is excited and proud to be leading the way not just in LA but in our hubs across the country, with more than $12 billion in airport infrastructure investments in progress over the next few years.”

Once completed, the modernized facility will reportedly offer more security screening capacity, host more gate-are seating, and feature a new concession program in partnership with Westfield Corporation, in addition to traditional Delta amenities.

Other key features and benefits include:

  • A 27-gate complex on Terminals 2 and 3 with a secure connection to Terminal B, enabling Delta and its partners to effectively utilize gates there as well;
  • A new 25,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck overlooking Terminals 2 and 3;
  • Brand new headhouse with centralized lobby, security screening checkpoint, and baggage claim;
  • Completely reconstructed Terminal 3;
  • A convenient bridge connecting Terminals 2, 3 and B on the secure side of the airport, as well as a dedicated baggage recheck and security checkpoint for seamless connection of international to domestic transfers, enabling significantly faster connections;
  • Premium retail and dining lineup;
  • Convenient and contemporary restroom facilities;
  • More access to power in the gate areas;
  • Modern and intuitive signage;
  • State-of-the-art finishes;
  • Emergency power generators for better operational recovery;
  • Connection to the automated people mover, which is expected to be fully operational in 2023; and
  • Airfield efficiency including dual taxi lanes.

In November last year, Garcetti announced that lower passenger volumes have paved the way for accelerated construction on the Delta Sky Way project, so much so, that the project is now expected to reach completion by mid-2023, instead of late 2024—roughly 18 months ahead of schedule.

Officials have added that in addition to the early completion, renovations to the consolidated check-in lobby, security checkpoint and baggage claim facility could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2022. By 2023, connectivity improvements will provide better access to the LAX Automated People Mover as well.

Most recently, a new $1.73 billion concourse opened at the end of May. Located just west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the five-level, 750,000-square-foot concourse is 1,700 feet long.


Tagged categories: Airports; Commercial Construction; Funding; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects

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