$1.13 Billion Remodel Project at LAX Expected to Get Green Light
Times might be tough, but at LAX, making good use of the aging Tom Bradley International Terminal is proving to be tougher. Today, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners are "expected to approve $1.13 billion in construction contracts to revitalize facilities for international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport and build new gates to accommodate the next generation of large commercial planes," according to LA Now.As part of this massive "modernization" project, the terminal will see the addition of "a million square feet of space to the terminal to make room for ticket counters, security checkpoints and passenger lounges, as well as expanded customs-and-immigration facilities." For shoppers and diners (and time killers) there will be a grand central hall featuring restaurants and retail shops. Nine new gates will be built, aimed to accommodate the biggest planes currently on the commercial market.
Although some aspects of the project are slated to be completed and in service in early 2012, overall the new Bradley Terminal is expected to be finished in mid-2013. This the the first time the facility has seen significant improvements since the '84 Olympics. With declining passenger counts and a reluctance for airports to undergo such expensive projects, LAX officials are optimistic about their plans, and aim to "finance the project by selling bonds to investors in the months ahead." This means, however, the airport must "carefully manage its operations to save money, increase revenue from concessions and parking, push Congress to increase the passenger-facilities fee and gradually raise fees and rents for the airlines." Looks like, in the end, the some of the cost of the new terminal will come out of our wallets one way or another.