Los Angeles World Airports has held a ceremony to mark the completion of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) Renovation Project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The $737-million project was designed to make traveling through the terminal safer, faster and more convenient to passengers, as well as provide a Southern California welcome to arriving international visitors. The significant changes are expected to help Los Angeles International Airport retain its competitiveness as the premier West Coast international gateway, especially to the fast-growing Asia-Pacific Region. The 38-month project was completed on time and under its $755-million budget.
“The Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is the first and last impression 10 million travelers have of Los Angeles every year,” says Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This renovation project improves the travelers’ experience as they pass through LAX, while enhancing passenger safety by reducing congestion in the airline check-in lobbies and on the curbside. The upgrades also improve customer service so travelers’ experiences in our great city will be positive ones that will make them want to return.”
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX, said, “This is the first and only LEED Silver Certified airport project for an existing building in the country, and where the work was performed in a fully operational terminal. This is modernization at its greenest, and its best. I’m proud of our work here, and I challenge others to match it.”
The three year project, which began construction in February 2007, included major interior renovations to airline check-in and passenger arrival (meet-and-greet) lobbies; customs and immigration arrivals hall with larger, high-capacity baggage carousels; arrivals corridors; restrooms; in-line baggage screening system, public art displays, and boarding gates (including two aircraft gates to accommodate new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380 super-jumbo and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Along with a much more contemporary look, the terminal also incorporated improved accessibility for passengers with disabilities; upgraded utilities, energy-efficient lighting, and fire-and-life safety systems; new restrooms, elevators and escalators; climate control/ventilation systems; new paging system and clearer signage (including dynamic video panels and digital signage that automatically updates flight information). New information-technology components to support the upgrades and promote better passenger flow also were installed.
The largest single component of the project added 45,000 square feet of space to house a new $140-million in-line, checked-baggage security screening facility located behind the scenes. The new facility reduces congestion in the airline check-in lobby by eliminating the need for passengers to wait in line for their checked luggage to be screened. The airport installed many van-sized, explosive detection systems in the airline check-in lobby following passage of a federal law requiring that all checked luggage be screened using electronic measures by 2002.
A $22.9-million TBIT Enhanced Passenger Experience Project is another aspect of the terminal’s revitalization. This focused on the aesthetic, rather than on utilitarian aspects. Large, high-definition, flat-screen monitors and entertainment display audio zones in baggage claim provide passengers with a warm “Welcome to Los Angeles!” as well as information about what to see and do in Los Angeles. In the Arrivals Lobby (meet-and-greet area), walls of flat-screen displays and glass panels of changing light, and a circular LED element provide a vibrant, colorful introduction to the city.
The Enhanced Passenger Experience Project also included public art installations in keeping with the City of Los Angeles’ Public Percent-for-Art Program, whereby 1 per cent of construction costs be designated for public art.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs collaborated to create a permanent video art program comprised of 17 artists/artist teams commissioned to produce original video artworks that can be viewed at two venues within the Arrivals Lobby. One is a linear strip of 29 back-to-back, 46-inch liquid crystal display screens for a total of 58 screens suspended from the ceiling in a serpentine shape with an overall length of 90 feet – the longest video project at a U.S. airport. The other is a media wall composed of 25 46-inch screens in a 5-screen-by-5-screen matrix.