A groundbreaking ceremony took place on Monday at Los Angeles International Airport, beginning construction on the new $1.6 billion terminal. Expected to boost Los Angeles's economy, the new wing will employ almost 6,000 workers throughout construction, and later provide a few hundred permanent jobs, according to the airport.
Los Angeles World Airports said the terminal – called the LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse – will feature additional gates, concessions, state-of-the-art technologies and other amenities. It will also have moving walkways, a bus facility, taxi lanes, taxiways and a baggage optimization project.
Roger Johnson, program manager for the Midfield Satellite Concourse project, explained that the project is meant to increase LAX's capacity to keep up with demand for international travel.
"One of the biggest problems we have here at the airport is we do not have enough gates to accommodate the demand for international air travel to LAX," Johnson said. "This project will add twelve more international gates to Los Angeles International Airport."
At the groundbreaking, Mayor Eric Garcetti made several jokes about how often airline passengers arrive early upon landing, but must wait for gates to free up to actually enter the airport, and how often passengers are late to their flights due to departure lane congestion.
Garcetti expressed confidence in the new terminal's ability to improve the congestion, and commented on the larger impact of the project.
"This is a win for Los Angeles, a win for our tourism industry, it's a win for every person who walks through these doors as a gateway for the rest of the world," Garcetti said. "[The terminal] will allow us to move planes to gates more quickly and take advantage of the travel and traffic we have here."
Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint expressed excitement about the project's guest-focused facilities and its ability to make LAX competitive with other first-class airports around the world.
"LAX is one of the best, busiest airports in the world and we are intent on modernizing our facilities for the passenger experience to also rival and exceed the experiences at some of the world's top airports," Flint said. "This facility is designed totally with the guest experience in mind, it's going to be technologically advanced, so we are making space and provisions and the platform not just for the technology of today, but for the technology of the future."
The terminal is projected to be operational by late 2019.
Reach Staff Reporter Sofia Bosch here.