Facelift gets underway at US airport

By Becca Durrant23 February 2010

Airport and city officials have broken ground on the US$ 1.5 billion Bradley West Project to upgrade and modernise the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US.

Modernisation plans include creating new food/beverage and retail space, premium lounge areas, enlarged Federal Inspection/Customs and Border Protection facilities and other passenger amenities.

In addition, the new concourses will contain 15 new boarding gates and enlarged passenger seating/holding areas to accommodate the latest aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing B787 Dreamliner.

It is thought 4000 construction related jobs will be created over the next four years.

The project aims to offer travellers the "very best in airport amenities" and once completed in 2012 will be able to handle more Airbus A380 super-jumbo jet flights than any other airport in North America.

In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said, "By modernising 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 travellers 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. Modernisation 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.

Funding for the Bradley West Project comes from LAX's operating revenues, fees from airlines, passenger facility charges and airport revenue bond proceeds. No cash from the City's general fund will be used.

Leading and managing the design and construction of Bradley West is Roger Johnson, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) deputy executive director for LAX Development. Meanwhile, Fentress Architects is providing design services and Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Los Angeles, which is comprised of Walsh Construction Company and Austin Commercial will carry out construction work.

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