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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 1:15 AM
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LOS ANGELES | LAX Modernization Plan

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Unveils Modernization Plan for LAX

The plan, which could cost $5 billion to $6 billion, focuses on rebuilding the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

By Dan Weikel
November 18, 2008

For the third time in less than a decade, a Los Angeles mayor and airport leaders on Monday unveiled a grand architectural plan for the expansion and modernization of Los Angeles International Airport, which has not been significantly remodeled since 1984.

City officials say the projects, which include a major face-lift for the Tom Bradley International Terminal, are needed to enhance the travel experience for passengers and preserve one of the region's main economic engines.

"Today marks a milestone in our effort to modernize the hub of the region's air transportation system and restore it to the premier international gateway the airlines need and the City of Angels deserves," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

The plan's architectural models and renderings were unveiled during a ceremony at the airport's Flight Path Learning Center attended by airline executives, elected officials and business leaders.

The conceptual plans were designed by Fentress Associates, a Denver-based architectural firm perhaps best known in this country for its work on the national museum of the U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., and Denver International Airport, which has a peaked roof that evokes the image of the Rocky Mountains.

Using the region's natural landscape as inspiration, Curt Fentress said, the concepts for LAX capture the city's sense of place. The sloping roof lines of the glass-and-steel terminals, for example, are evocative of breaking waves at the beach.

"We want to change LAX into L.A. wow," Fentress said.

Highlighted on Monday were conceptual plans for the Bradley terminal, a cross-field taxiway, a midfield concourse for domestic and international flights and a passenger processing facility immediately across from the Bradley.

According to the dramatic renderings, the Bradley and midfield concourse will be linked by a soaring sky bridge over the cross-field taxiway, giving passengers panoramic views of the ocean, mountains and city skyline.

Airport officials say they expect to finish the projects by 2013 at a cost of $5 billion to $6 billion, though that could go substantially higher.

The centerpiece of the modernization and its priority is the overhaul of the Bradley, including the reconstruction of two concourses, new gates on the west to accommodate large commercial aircraft (such as the Airbus A-380) and a central hall offering shopping, restaurants and lounges.

Gina Marie Lindsey, director of Los Angeles World Airports, estimated that the taxiway and Bradley improvements will cost roughly $2 billion, though she acknowledged they could go higher depending on the final design. Some estimates have been as high as $4 billion.

Lindsey said the gates on the north side of the Bradley terminal should be finished by January 2012, while those on the south side should be completed by September of that year.

"We are one step closer to making L.A. the home of a world-class international airport," said Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn. "We haven't done anything at this airport since 1984."

The modernization plan does face substantial hurdles, including declining passenger volumes. Airlines, which have been dramatically cutting service, are increasingly concerned about airports' raising their fees to help finance improvements. The nation's credit crisis also has made it difficult for major airports to pay for new terminals and runways.

In the most recent example, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been unable to sell $600 million in municipal bonds for a new terminal. At LAX, the number of passengers is projected to fall below 55 million next year, down at least 13 million since 2000.

Lindsey said the airport will finance the modernization with higher landing fees, bonds, revenue from airport concessions and seed money from a portion of $850 million in bonds sold by LAWA earlier this year. She said she was confident LAWA can afford the projects.

But Frank Clark, executive director of LAXTEC, an organization that represents international airlines at LAX, said the projects need to be cost-effective and that LAWA must settle its protracted dispute with the airlines over rental rates.

"It's a good vision. You just can't have a substandard experience as a passenger," Clark said of the conceptual plans. "But we remain concerned about costs."

Assuming the Bradley improvements run $2 billion, the cost for each of the 12 new gates is about $167 million, high for gate construction today, according to consultants.

The last major remodeling of LAX occurred just before L.A. hosted the 1984 Summer Olympics. The Bradley terminal was built along with an elevated roadway to serve departing passengers. Over the years, passengers have given low ratings to the facility in consumer surveys.

The first major renovation and modernization plan was proposed during Mayor Richard Riordan's administration. Plans revealed in 2000 called for accommodating up to 100 million passengers a year.

Four years later, Mayor James K. Hahn unveiled an $11-billion plan that included a ground transportation center outside the airport boundaries and a tram system to get travelers to and from the airport. Lawsuits and opposition from elected officials and community activists stalled both plans.

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Last edited by Quixote; Jan 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 3:20 AM
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They can do all they want to the terminals, but from my experience, it'll always be the LA-area airport of last resort until they can do something about the surrounding traffic and communities.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 3:40 AM
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Is there any plan to make a metro connection to the airport?
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 4:57 AM
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Yes, now that R has passed, LAX will get its transit connection.

Its about time LAX takes on its role as a great gateway to the Pacific airport. I would love to see this vision happen. I went to Mexico in May out of the Bradley terminal and gazed on all that empty land and wondered why it wasn't put into use. Great idea, as long as the customs facility is doubled inside. But hell, yes, I want LAX to be able to at least come close to the great airports opening in Asia like HKG, KUL, BKK and all the others. We welcome our visitors with a subterranean shithole.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 6:44 AM
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Last edited by Quixote; Nov 21, 2008 at 8:59 AM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 7:15 AM
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Yes, please!

I'm salivating at the thought of THAT being our airport.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 7:56 AM
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ya, it looks very interesting! i hope to God they stick to 2013 for the completion date.

In regards to transit connections, there will be a people mover that will connect to the Green Line which will extend to LAX, as well as these possibilities in the near future.
1) Dedicated ROW to LAX from Union Station
2) Crenshaw Corridor LRT connection
3) Maglev High Speed Connection to Ontario Airport

3 isnt likely, but 1 and 2 are very likely and the Green Line extension will happen, so that will be 3 direct rail lines to LAX.
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 8:29 AM
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I hope this happens...
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 9:38 AM
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LA's sense of place? yeah, right. literal interpretation of breaking waves? lame. too bad we can't get someone more interesting like richard rogers or calatrava. but the "sky-bridge" is a good idea, and it sort of echos the theme building, and it ain't gehry or another LA starchitect, thank god. it's an improvement, and it ain't bad looking, and that's the standard we live by. i'll take it.
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 4:46 PM
LivingInExile LivingInExile is offline
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Oh my god.

I'm just now seeing this, so damn amazing. Finally some rail is going to the airport, and the redesign looks AMAZING!@
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 6:07 PM
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Anyone here use the TB international arrival/customs/port of entry within the last year? It was always a clusterf*ck, but the last time I went thru (in December) there was major reconstruction. How has this turned out?
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 7:32 PM
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B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!

Its about time; we've been waiting too long for this bullshit to happen...
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 7:35 PM
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BTW, in Picture 1, is that the Green Line and the new stations surrounding the terminals?

We are going to need these kinds of large scale improvements, especially when countries like China and India pour tens of millions of tourists into the United States each year.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2008, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vertex View Post
Anyone here use the TB international arrival/customs/port of entry within the last year? It was always a clusterf*ck, but the last time I went thru (in December) there was major reconstruction. How has this turned out?
I went through it in May and it was still a major clustef*ck as you put it. I don't know when its supposed to reopen. Back in May, you could also see the A380 gates coming along nicely, but they better be prepared for 550 tired souls trudging through customs, I hope the do something about the wait times.
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2008, 8:12 AM
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LAX Modernization Unveiled

The plan includes 32 new gates that could accommodate newer, super-wide jetliners.

By Art Marroquin, Staff Writer
November 17, 2008

City officials on Monday unveiled a modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport that would cost an estimated $5 billion to $7 billion and pay homage to the Pacific Ocean.

Plans call for a dramatic remodeling of the Tom Bradley International Terminal and a new Midfield Satellite Concourse, resulting in the addition of 32 new airline gates capable of accommodating newer, wide-bodied jetliners.

"Today marks a major milestone in our effort to modernize this hub of the region's transportation system and to restore its status as an international gateway during a challenging era of aviation," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during a news conference at LAX.

"It's an eye-opening vision," he said. "It's truly a vision to behold, representing the best of Los Angeles."

The first phase, set for completion in mid-2013, calls for remodeling the Bradley terminal and building six new aircraft gates capable of handling super-jumbo jets, such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. By 2012, LAX is expected to serve more A380 flights than any other airport in North America.

Plans also call for building a new passenger processing center, several taxiways and a people mover tram that winds its way around the entire airport.

While a timeline remains unclear, construction of the proposed Midfield Satellite Concourse would begin sometime after the Bradley project, according to airport officials.

"We are finally one step closer to realizing our dream of making Los Angeles, once again, the home of a world-class international airport, an airport that not only meets the needs of the airlines, but exceeds the expectations of air travelers," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who chairs the council committee that oversees LAX.

The proposed exterior design celebrates the airport's proximity to the beach. Curved stainless steel panels give the appearance of waves lapping at the terminal's rooftop. Large windows and skylights allow natural sunlight to pour into the passenger walkways.

Tall, white parabolic arches - similar to those of the iconic Theme Building - are incorporated into a two-level bridge connecting the Bradley terminal to the new midfield terminal. Travelers can opt to ride a train on the bridge's lower level, or stroll along an automated pedestrian walkway on the upper level. Viewing lounges at each end of the bridge provide views of downtown, the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

The modernistic, beach- themed concept was based on comments gathered during a series of community meetings, according to Denver-based architect Curtis Fentress, who was awarded a $41.5 million, three-year design contract earlier this year.

"One of the things people really wanted was a modern building, they wanted an experience for the passenger that would be dramatic and exciting, something that people would go home and tell their friends about," Fentress said. "They wanted it to be emblematic of L.A."

The city of Los Angeles has spent more than $250 million over the past 15 years developing airport modernization plans backed by Villaraigosa and two of his predecessors. Construction of the Bradley terminal and the second-level roadway were the last major changes made at LAX, completed just before the 1984 Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles.

Airport and city officials said they remain optimistic about completing the Bradley terminal renovations within a tight, self-imposed five-year deadline.

The national recession has forced other airports across the country to scale back, postpone or completely scrub similar capital improvement projects. The project also comes as fewer travelers are passing through LAX.

The airport served nearly 68 million passengers at its peak in 2000, but is projected to handle about 59 million by the end of this year - the lowest level in 12 years.

If the airport isn't quickly modernized, then international carriers might move flights to other airports, resulting in more passenger losses and a potential hit to the regional economy, said Samuel Garrison, vice president of public policy for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

"This is absolutely vital to ensuring Los Angeles' position as a world-class destination and a global economic leader," Garrison said. "We don't really have any options if we want to keep flights and money coming in, so making sure this is done the right way is going to be a win for the entire region."
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2008, 11:54 PM
San Marino Guy San Marino Guy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
BTW, in Picture 1, is that the Green Line and the new stations surrounding the terminals?

We are going to need these kinds of large scale improvements, especially when countries like China and India pour tens of millions of tourists into the United States each year.

No, that's the people-mover system that would connect to the Green Line further east. It seems like Metro should try to get the Harbor Subdivision done before the LAX Green Line Extension since it would be direct, quick service to downtown. Going from Union Station using Metro rail, you'd first have to use the Red Line, then the Blue line, and then the Green Line, all which would take a very long time. The Harbor Subdivision would allow for a direct connection from Union Station to LAX that would not only take about half the time to ride, but to build since the tracks and righ-of-way are already there. It just makes more sense than the Green Line.

Last edited by San Marino Guy; Nov 20, 2008 at 5:34 AM.
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 6:42 AM
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Anything is better than the current embarrassment. Im wildly happy.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 10:02 PM
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Very nice, it will secure LAX's international importance and pull it into the 21st century. Awesome.
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  #19  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 10:25 PM
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EXTREMELY cool plan!!! Can't wait to see it when it's complete!
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 11:17 PM
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That concourse-connection bridge looks retarded: other than that, I'm envious. It screams "LA"!
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