Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa was recently joined by City Council members Janice Hahn and Bill Rosendahl, airport commissioners and other officials in a ceremony to break ground on a long-awaited major modernization of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.
The $1.5-billion Bradley West project includes 1.25 million sq ft of new building area, including food/beverage and retail concessions, new premium lounge space, enlarged federal inspection/customs and border protection facilities and 15 new boarding gates and enlarged passenger seating/holdroom areas sized to accommodate new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380 super-jumbo jet and the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.
The project, designed by Fentress Architects of Los Angeles and constructed by Walsh Austin Joint Venture of Los Angeles, is scheduled for completion by 2013.
The Bradley West project is the biggest public works project in the city’s history and is expected to create 4,000 construction-related jobs during the four-year project schedule. Airport officials estimate that 90% of the construction workforce will come from the Southern California region, and nearly 40% of the workers will be residents of the city of Los Angeles and other communities near LAX. The Bradley West Project also is expected to provide direct and secondary regional economic benefits, including the need for construction goods and services associated with a large capital improvement project.
“Today marks another milestone in our effort to modernize the hub of Southern California’s air transportation system and restore it to the premier international gateway the airlines and our customers need and the city of Angels deserves,” says Mayor Villaraigosa. “By modernizing the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, we will provide better service for passengers from around the world. Tourism and international trade are major contributors to Los Angeles’ economy that generate jobs and contribute to the city’s ability to retain its position in the ever-increasing competitive global marketplace. Improving the experience for travelers at LAX will put thousands of people to work now and for years to come.”
The Bradley West project is one element of the overall LAX Master Plan. Modernization had been stalled prior to Mayor Villaraigosa’s election in 2005 and the last major capital investment was construction of the current Tom Bradley International Terminal in 1984. Mayor Villaraigosa brokered a settlement in 2006 of a lawsuit filed by seven public agencies and community groups against the LAX Master Plan. The settlement, approved by the mayor and city council, has enabled Los Angeles World Airports to proceed with its current modernization efforts, including Bradley West.
“Today’s ground breaking commemorates the years of planning and the significant work ahead to build international facilities worthy of the LAX name,” says Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. “The world of international travelers and the airlines that serve them have now come a giant step closer to the delivery of one of America’s premier international gateways.”
Curtis Fentress, principal-in-charge of Fentress Architects, says, “This is a defining moment in the history of Los Angeles. The Bradley West terminal and future modernizations will establish a new regional icon that embodies the character of Los Angeles and transforms LAX into the airport of the future. It captures the rhythmic motion of waves and ocean swells, suggesting the L.A. culture that constantly reinvents itself.”
Fentress described the design as “flat-seam stainless steel will stretch over column-free structures, creating a cohesive theme and world-class identity that complements the parabolic arches of the scene-setting LAX Theme Building.”
The project also will address Los Angeles World Airports’ goal for a “greener” LAX. In accordance with LAWA’s Sustainable Design and Construction Guidelines released in 2007, LAWA’s construction projects must optimize the use of recycled building materials, minimize the amount of energy used in construction, and optimize energy efficiency. The architecture and construction of the new facilities are designed to achieve a LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The first element of the LAX Master Plan, the South Airfield Improvement Program, was completed in 2007. The one-year, $333-million project reconfigured the airport’s south runway complex to improve airfield safety.
Unrelated to the LAX Master Plan, LAWA has also made significant passenger safety improvements inside the terminals. LAWA recently completed the first phase of installation of in-line baggage screening with enhanced automated technology to inspect each checked bag behind-the-scene. In December 2009, LAWA and the Transportation Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secured $150 million in federal funds to complete the in-line baggage screening system in several terminals, which will make travel through LAX safer and faster.
Los Angeles International Airport, the sixth busiest airport in the world, offers more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the U.S. and over 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 65 international destinations.
The Tom Bradley International Terminal is LAX’s primary facility serving international travelers, with nearly 30 airlines operating in the terminal today. Last year, the airlines at the Bradley Terminal served over 8.6 million international travelers, or 57% of LAX’s overall 15.1 million international passenger volume. Total number of passengers at LAX last year was more than 56.5 million.