Groundbreaking today for Tom Bradley Int'l Terminal expansion
Dubbed the Bradley West Project, the effort is expected to cost $1.5 billion and create 4,000 construction-related jobs.
The project will include the construction of 15 boarding gates. Each gate will be capable of handling passengers arriving and departing on giant new airliners, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, according to airport officials. The plan also calls for demolishing the Bradley Terminal's old concourse area and building a pair of concourses with larger passenger lounges.
About 1.25 million square feet will be added for shops, restaurants, ticketing desks, security screening and baggage claim, officials said.
Additionally, the federal customs inspection area will be expanded, and a pair of corridors will be built to link Terminals 3, 4 and the Bradley terminal so passengers with connecting flights do not have to exit the terminals and go through security screening again.
The new boarding gates are slated for completion by 2012, but the rest of the upgrades are not expected to be finished until spring 2013.
"This is the gateway, the capitol of the Pacific Rim, the gateway to the East and the South, and here we should have a gateway that really welcomes people," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
Of the 4,000 construction-related jobs that will be created, nearly 40 percent will go to residents of the city of Los Angeles and areas surrounding LAX, according to LAX officials.
Villaraigosa said the project will help generate "billions of dollars of economic impact from international air travelers and a travel experience worthy of a world-class city."
The project will be funded with LAX operating revenues, capital improvement program funds, fees from airlines, passenger facilities charges and airport revenue bond proceeds. The city's general fund will not be used.
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl noted that the costs of the project could mean higher prices for some travelers.
"LAX will no longer be the cheapest takeoff and landing airport in America," Rosendahl said. "It will be modernized, those costs will be passed on and all of a sudden Ontario will look good."
When the Airport Commission in October approved the contract with Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Villaraigosa said that "by modernizing the Bradley Terminal at LAX, we will provide better services for passengers from around the world."
He added: "Tourism generates jobs, and improving the experience for travelers at LAX will put people to work now and for years to come."
Built in 1984, the Bradley Terminal is LAX's primary facility serving international travelers. Last year, more than 30 airlines at the Bradley Terminal served more than 8.6 million passengers -- about 57 percent of LAX's overall 15.1 million international passenger volume.
LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world, with more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the United States and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 65 international destinations, according to airport officials. It served a total of 56.5 million passengers in 2009.
Source: Daily News Los Angeles