MIAMI – Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has been constantly building Los Angeles International (LAX) into the airport of the future. With the 2028 Olympics in mind, LAX is working hard to improve its capacity and efficiency with several new projects.
Los Angeles International has a ‘horseshoe’ airport design that makes up the Central Terminal Area (CTA).
After the reopening of the modernized Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) in 2013, more passengers could be handled but the inefficient and congested road design of the CTA became a headache for drivers.
Midfield Satellite Concourse
LAWA looked west to Qantas Airways’ (QF) maintenance hangar, on the opposite side of taxiway Sierra, to build a new international concourse connected to TBIT, the Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC).
The new concourse was thought as early as 2008, even before TBIT was reopened. QF relocated to a new maintenance pad further west that they now share with Delta Air Lines (DL).
The MSC will have 12 gates, two of which will be able to accommodate the A380 or Boeing 747-8 (TBIT has 9 of these gates), and the 10 others able to accommodate smaller wide-bodies such as the A330, A350, and the Boeing 777 and 787.
The MSC is intended to ease reliance off of the west remote gates, which are far from the CTA where passengers must be ferried by bus to customs. West Remote gates will still be utilized after completion of the MSC.
Construction has not stopped on the MSC, or any other projects at LAX, and the MSC is still slated to open in 2020.
The LAMP Project
On the other side of the CTA, LAWA is working with the City of Los Angeles to complete the Land Airside Modernization Program (LAMP).
LAMP consists of the Automated People Mover (APM), the Consolidated Rental Car Facility (ConRAC), and the Intermodal Transportation Facilities and roadway improvements. All of these projects are aimed at reducing congestion in the CTA and making a more streamlined, and efficient LAX experience.
As of now, only seven companies representing 14 brands will be housed in the ConRAC. Other rental car companies who do not want to pay to be in the ConRAC will be required to pick up passengers at the ConRAC, which will consolidate all rental car facilities into one, and use LAX shuttles for customers, reducing the number of buses in the CTA.
Passengers could also use the APM, an aerial train system that will connect the CTA to two Intermodal Transit Facilities (ITF) with convenient drop-off/pick-up locations with parking. The ITF-West has space for concessions and will be built as shell space.
Another available link includes the Airport Metro Connector (AMC), which will connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to LAX, allowing north Los Angeles to take the Metro to the airport; and finally to ConRAC, where all rental car companies will be.
During peak hours, the APM will run 9 trains, each train able to carry 200 passengers and their luggage. The APM will be able to handle 10,000 passengers per hour and 87 million per year.
Once inside the CTA, there will be three convenient stations, East CTA for terminals 1 and 7, Center CTA for terminals 2, 5, and 6, and West CTA for terminals 3, 4, and TBIT.
Concourse 0 and Terminal 9
LAWA also has plans for more regional gates, expected to build Concourse 0 attaching to Terminal 1 for more Southwest Airlines (WN) gates, and Terminal 9, on the east side of Sepulveda Boulevard.
Concourse 0 and Terminal 9 are still in the environmental review phases of planning, so no set date has been scheduled for their completion.
Concourse 0 will sit on what now is the LAXit (LA-Exit) lot, where passengers can get to and from rideshare cars.
LAXit will be relocated to ITFs once LAMP is complete. Terminal 9 will sit on what is now the American Airlines (AA) regional terminal, and it is unclear where AA will relocate its regional operations to.
With all these projects in the works, LAX is quickly going from a headache for travelers to a world-class airport for a world-class city.