OldWestNewWest.com: History & Travel Magazine

Feb 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Los Angeles Breaks Ground on $1.5 Billion Bradley Terminal Modernization to Handle Airbus, Boeing Super-Jumbos

Los Angeles Breaks Ground on $1.5 Billion Bradley Terminal Modernization to Handle Airbus, Boeing Super-Jumbos

Hits smaller text tool iconmedium text tool iconlarger text tool icon
A new $1.5 billion world-class airport terminal to better serve the millions of international tourists who come to Los Angeles each year moved one step closer to reality Feb. 22, 2010 when city and airport officials broke ground on the project.

When completed in 2012, the Bradley West Project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will be able to handle more Airbus A380 super-jumbo jet flights than any other airport in North America.

The project, a major facelift and upgrade for the airport's existing Tom Bradley International Terminal, will incorporate roughly 1.25 million square feet of new building area, including food/beverage and retail concessions.

According to the plans, 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 offer new premium lounge space, enlarged Federal Inspection/Customs and Border Protection facilities and other passenger amenities.

In addition, the new Bradley concourses will contain 15 new boarding gates and enlarged passenger seating/holdroom areas sized to accommodate new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing B787 Dreamliner. The A380 can handle anywhere between 500 and 800 passengers, while the Dreamliner will be able to handle more than 300 passengers in some configurations.

"Today's groundbreaking commemorates the years of planning and the significant work ahead to build international facilities worthy of the LAX name," Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said. "A 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."

The new improvements may help future passenger opinions about Los Angeles International Airport.

J.D. Power & Associates recently released its 2010 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, and passengers gave Los Angeles International Airport a ranking of just "2" among large airports in the nation - the lowest satisfaction number an airport can receive.

"By modernizing the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, we will provide better service for passengers from around the world," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during ground breaking ceremonies. "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."

Funding for the Bradley West Project comes from the airport's operating revenues, fees from airlines, passenger facility charges and airport revenue bond proceeds. No monies from the city's general fund will be used, a spokesperson said.

Roger Johnson, LAWA Deputy Executive Director for LAX Development, is leading and managing the design and construction of Bradley West.

Fentress Architects, an internationally recognized firm that designed Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea, and the iconic Denver International Airport in Colorado, is providing design services.

Construction is being performed by Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Los Angeles, which is comprised of Walsh Construction Company and Austin Commercial. Both are long-established construction firms that have performed major public works projects at other U.S. airports, including Chicago-O'Hare, Atlanta-Hartsfield, Dallas-Fort Worth, Sacramento, and Raleigh-Durham international airports.

The Tom Bradley International Terminal is LAX's primary facility serving international travelers, with nearly 30 airlines currently operating in the terminal.

In 2009, the airlines at the Bradley Terminal served more than 8.6 million international travelers, or 57 percent of LAX's overall 15.1 million international passenger volume. Total number of passengers at LAX last year was more than 56.5 million. Since its opening in 1984, hundreds of millions of international travelers have passed through the Bradley Terminal.

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.