SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

February 26, 2007 22:19 ET

$723.5-Million LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal Renovation Begins; Largest Individual Project in Los Angeles City History

$140-Million Baggage Screening System Will Eliminate Lines, Reduce Terminal Congestion; Other Upgrades Will Improve Overall Customer Service, Convenience

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 26, 2007 -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa was joined today by airport and airline officials in a ceremony to break ground on a long-awaited major renovation of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The $723.5-million project calls for major interior renovations, installation of an in-line checked-baggage security system, and a second boarding gate for new large aircraft.

Considered the largest individual project in Los Angeles City's history, the significant changes are expected to help LAX retain its competitiveness as the premier West Coast international gateway, especially to the Asia-Pacific Region. Because the construction work will be performed while the terminal is fully operational, the project is also considered one of the most complex among U.S. airports. This is the first major upgrade to LAX terminals since 1984, when the one-million-square-foot Tom Bradley International Terminal was originally built, along with the double-deck roadway and concourses that connected airline ticketing counters to aircraft parking satellites.

"The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is the first and last impression 10 million annual travelers have of Los Angeles," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "This project will improve the travelers' experience as they pass through LAX, while enhancing passenger safety by reducing congestion in the airline check-in lobbies and on the curbside. The upgrades will improve customer service so travelers' first and last impressions of our great city will be positive ones that will make them want to return."

"Los Angeles International Airport is the gateway to our City," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX. "It is important that we provide a safer, greener, more modern and efficient airport for our traveling public. These renovations do just that."

Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Alan Rothenberg said, "Los Angeles International Terminal is the U.S. West Coast's premier international gateway -- especially to Asia-Pacific, the fastest growing commercial aviation region in the world. We greatly appreciate the Mayor's support to LAWA in reaching today's milestone. Major renovations to the Tom Bradley International Terminal will greatly improve passenger comfort, convenience and safety and will help LAX retain its global competitiveness."

Samson Mengistu, Los Angeles World Airports acting executive director, said, "Passenger-friendly terminals and conveniences, airplane-friendly taxiways and gates are all 'must-haves' as airports around the globe compete for the economic vitality that world-class airports create. Our Vision Initiatives seek to modernize LAX to ensure it retains its vital role as the cornerstone of Southern California's air transportation system."

Frank Clark, executive director of the LAXTEC Corp. consortium of 30+ airlines operating in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, said, "The international airlines serving Los Angeles are extremely pleased with the start of the much anticipated renovation program, which will enhance our customer travel experience for visitors from around the world by upgrading the appearance of the facility, modernizing important building systems, enhancing security, and providing a terminal that will be 'user friendly.'"

The project, which is scheduled for completion in March 2010, will add approximately 45,000 square feet of space in the terminal to house a $140-million, in-line baggage security screening facility. Passengers will check in with their airlines, receive their boarding passes and check their luggage with the airlines, where it will be conveyed to security screening and then to flights. The oversized explosive detection machines currently in terminal lobbies will be replaced with newer generation machines with higher efficiency and through-put and moved to this behind-the-scenes facility. This will reduce congestion in the ticketing lobbies and eliminate passengers waiting with checked luggage while it undergoes security screening.

In addition to enhancing security and efficiency, the renovation will make the terminal more comfortable and convenient with interior improvements that include upgrades to the Lower/Arrivals Level lobby and concourses for inbound international passengers, restrooms, accessibility measures for passengers with disabilities, new elevators and escalators, new paging and clearer signage, better temperature control and ventilation, fire and life safety systems, and electrical system.

Renovations to the passenger boarding lounge and outside ramp area at Gate 123 on the north end of the terminal concourse will create a second gate to accommodate the new generation of jets such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 747-800. Gate 101 on the south end of the terminal concourse was renovated last June to accommodate the new jets in advance of test flights.

With new amenities and furnishings, four new "mega" airline lounges will replace 16 individual lounges and expand the terminal's overall lounge space to 47,000 square feet -- an increase of 72 percent over current space. Three of the new lounges will serve airline alliances, and the fourth is for customers of airlines not affiliated with an alliance.

Along with a much more contemporary look, the terminal will also incorporate modern technology such as dynamic video monitors that automatically update flight status and information technology components that support the upgrades and promote better passenger flow.

The project is the first at LAX to incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The terminal's new heating/ventilation/air conditioning and more efficient electrical and lighting systems will reduce energy consumption, while new plumbing systems will increase water conservation. Over 75 percent of the construction and demolition waste will be recycled or salvaged, and the design features various local and sustainable building materials and finishes.

This is in keeping with a sustainable "green" building policy adopted by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners in January that commits Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to incorporate LEED standards in all future construction projects at LAX and LAWA's other three Southern California airports (LA/Ontario International, LA/Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys). LEED standards promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The 38-month project is expected to be completed by March 2010. The overall Tom Bradley International Terminal Renovation Program cost is $723.5 million. Actual cost for the construction work that begins today is $503.5 million with a $72.1 million contingency (total $575.6 million). The airport has already expended $147.9 million on architectural and engineering designs; purchase of new passenger loading bridges; and construction of the first boarding gate for next-generation jets, lounges and terminal operations offices. The project is being funded by a combination of sources, including passenger facility charges, airline reimbursements and airport revenues. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has already agreed to a Letter of Intent for partial reimbursement for the in-line baggage security screening system. No monies from the City's general funds will be used.

The more than 30 airlines at the Tom Bradley International Terminal served over nine million international travelers in 2006, or 53 percent of LAX's overall 16.9 million international passenger volume. Total passenger volume at LAX last year was 61,041,066.

Construction is being performed by Clark/McCarthy Joint Venture, which is comprised of Clark Construction Group based in Bethesda, MD, and McCarthy Building Companies of St. Louis, MO. Both are long-established construction firms that have performed major public works projects at other U.S. airports, including most recently at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Contact Information

    Nancy Suey Castles
    (310) 646-5260