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Alaska Airlines Could Make One More LAX Terminal Not Abysmal

An Alaska Airlines aircraft comes in for a landing at LAX (Photo by Mark Luethi via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The embarrassment of being a "world class city" with an ugly, user unfriendly, depressing, skanky airport seems interminable, doesn't it? Renovations, upgrades, and pretty-fication seems to happen one terminal at a time at Los Angeles International Airport, and today comes word that Terminal 6 might emerge as being actually pleasant in the near future, thanks to a $271 million deal between Alaska Airlines and LAX operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

"The renovation is part of a settlement agreement approved Monday by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners between Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Alaska Airlines on a pending lawsuit over terminal charges," explains Aviation News of the proposed remodeling.

Included in the proposed modernization by the Seattle-based airline are "spacious boarding areas, a new passenger lounge and more efficient baggage check-in," according to LA Now. In the deal, too, is a 10-year lease for Alaska at the terminal, and inclusion of an upgraded and expanded U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, so that Alaska's many international passengers can be processed in-terminal.

Alaska says the renovation "will incorporate sustainable building practices in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council," notes Aviation News.

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So who gets stuck with the bill for this? Alaska Airlines is contributing $18.6M, LAWA is taking $156.5M of the tab, and the remaining $95.9M will come from "passenger facility fees and reimbursements from the federal Transportation Security Administration." Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has already declared his support of the planned revamp, and that the project will bring nearly 700 jobs to the area, as well as cash into the local economy for "numerous construction-related material purchases."

Alaska moves into Terminal 6 later this year, and will begin operations in 2012. It's not a totally done deal, though, notes LA Now: "Before the renovation can proceed, the new lease with Alaska Airlines must be approved by the L.A. City Council."