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Old May 10, 13, 1:49 am   #1
 
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LAX T4-T5 connector tunnel to re-open?

While there have been other posts about the forthcoming new T4 to TBIT connector that is being built at LAX, this Facebook post from LAX today says that the connector will actually connect TBIT to "Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8." To me that suggests that LAX will be reopening the mid-concourse T4-T5 tunnel which will reconnect with the already-open T5-T6 tunnel that will then sort-of connect to the T6-T7-T8 walkway near security. Unwieldy to be sure, but this is LAX after all. And the sterile connection from T4 to AS in T6 will definitely be helpful.

So am I reading this right, or does LAX actually mean to suggest an entirely *new* corridor connecting TBIT-T4-T5-T6-T7-T8?

(FYI the link to the PDF on the FB page below also mentions "A new passenger bus port for two-way travel between TBIT and Terminals 5 through 8")

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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Old May 10, 13, 4:07 am   #2
 
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It certainly seems logical to open the tunnel. That doesn't mean it will happen, so I'm glad to see LAWA strongly implying that it will happen. It has been stated often here that AA would like to open the tunnel but Delta resists, presumably because the benefit would mostly be to AA (simplifying AA-AS connections).

Once a T4-TBIT connector is open, however, Delta might well be more interested because it would also enable a behind-security connection (albeit with a long walk) from T5 to the Sky Team partners in TBIT. That said, Delta's current and future joint venture partners (most AF flights and all KLM, Virgin Australia, and Virgin Atlantic departures) are in T2 or T3, and Delta has made it very clear that they care about joint venture partners but not other Sky Team partners.
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Old May 10, 13, 6:10 am   #3
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It should never have been closed in the first place. The dolt responsible for that decision should be caned and terminated.
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Old May 10, 13, 6:35 am   #4
 
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This is good news, but quite frankly, rather than long underground tunnels, I'd much rather have an air-side, elevated DFW-type tram. Or, if they do have to be tunnels, then it'd be more efficient to lay them out in a star pattern with the center below the TBIT parking garage and the spokes radiating out to (airside) terminal connections.
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Old May 10, 13, 9:03 am   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
It should never have been closed in the first place. The dolt responsible for that decision should be caned and terminated.
I'm with you. It's such a pain to connect thru LAX.
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Old May 10, 13, 9:34 am   #6
 
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I guess I'm one of the few that would rather see AA with a strategic advantage of having its own connection to TBIT. Opening the T4-T5 tunnel allows seamless operations for DL/Skyteam between T5-TBIT. I'll deal with the shuttle bus if it preserves this advantage for AA/OW.

The only reason For opening the tunnel is if AA is finally going to exercise their options for any gates in T6.
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Old May 10, 13, 9:40 am   #7
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Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
IThe dolt responsible for that decision should be caned and terminated.
And not necessarily in that order.

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Old May 10, 13, 10:19 am   #8
 
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Could someone be so kind to elaborate on why the tunnel/walkway was closed in the first place?
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Old May 10, 13, 10:23 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerumagrinberga View Post
This is good news, but quite frankly, rather than long underground tunnels, I'd much rather have an air-side, elevated DFW-type tram. Or, if they do have to be tunnels, then it'd be more efficient to lay them out in a star pattern with the center below the TBIT parking garage and the spokes radiating out to (airside) terminal connections.
Full automated airside tram connections would of course be great but look at the timelines even for this limited project: estimated opening Winter 2015. Think about how much longer and more expensive a tram would be.

Hub-spoke tunnel system under the existing garages would be even more expensive and complex without shutting down the garages not to mention the roadways. At any rate, I believe much of that underground space is already being occupied by utilities connected to the new power plant.
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Old May 10, 13, 10:39 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by jerumagrinberga View Post
This is good news, but quite frankly, rather than long underground tunnels, I'd much rather have an air-side, elevated DFW-type tram. Or, if they do have to be tunnels, then it'd be more efficient to lay them out in a star pattern with the center below the TBIT parking garage and the spokes radiating out to (airside) terminal connections.
LAX doesn't need a DFW-type system, as something like 90% of flights at LAX are O&D. And I believe most of the remaining 10% are connecting flights made largely to int'l flights, with many at TBIT or T2. I think this solution will work for LAX, as eventually you will either have the option of a sterile connector between T8 and TBIT or, if the walk is too long, the option of a bus from T8-T5 to TBIT. Plus after US ops are folded into T4, all of the legacies (along with AS) will be within the T8-TBIT south LAX corridor, and the largely domestic-only carriers will be in T3 (VX, B6 etc.) and T1 (WN) where a sterile corridor to TBIT does not exist and is not as necessary. (I also imagine T2 may go to domestic after the MSC is completed, but I don't really know what the long-term plan is for that)

Last edited by wrcraig; May 10, 13 at 10:52 am..
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Old May 10, 13, 10:48 am   #11
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Could someone be so kind to elaborate on why the tunnel/walkway was closed in the first place?
In the wake of September 11, 2001, frequent checkpoint security "failures" resulted in the evacuation and rescreening of multiple LAX terminals even though the "failure" was at T-4 or T-5 or T-6, etc. The fear-mongers said that because of the tunnels, all connected terminals had to be re-screened.

I don't recall who, exactly, gave the order to close the tunnels but IIRC, all of the south side tunnels were locked in late 2001. In the years since, however, all of the tunnels were re-opened except for the T-4 to T-5 tunnel. With AS now in T-6, I'd vote to re-open the T-4 tunnel.
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Old May 10, 13, 10:59 am   #12
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO View Post
I guess I'm one of the few that would rather see AA with a strategic advantage of having its own connection to TBIT.
Yes, you are one of the few.

As a customer, I'll take more competition from suppliers any day over one of them having a "strategic advantage" over another. What's good for the supplier is almost always bad for me, the customer.
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Old May 10, 13, 11:06 am   #13
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Originally Posted by wrcraig View Post
So am I reading this right, or does LAX actually mean to suggest an entirely *new* corridor connecting TBIT-T4-T5-T6-T7-T8?

(FYI the link to the PDF on the FB page below also mentions "A new passenger bus port for two-way travel between TBIT and Terminals 5 through 8")
There won't be a new corridor connecting T-4 to the other southside terminals. As they're already connected with the tunnels, this new TBIT to T-4 building will enable sterile walking (if the T-4 tunnel is reopened).

This new building also includes a bus station to permit other southside airlines to bus their passengers to/from TBIT if they choose.

Eventually, the skybridge that will connect TBIT West to TBIT (tall enough for jets to pass underneath) will have two levels - one a walkway and the other automated (I think some sort of tram). That bridge is shown in renderings to continue as far as T-4 or T-5. And of course, those renderings include Mayor Hahn's suspended proposal to demolish the central parking garages and build a huge consolidated terminal in their place for the northside terminals, complete with the off-site check-in building and automated people mover.

In the wake of last month's city council vote on the LAX improvements, including the almost $100 million TBIT to T-4 building, some of the media reported that the city council had green-lighted the central terminal project. I'm not sure that happened.

<redacted>

Last edited by JDiver; May 10, 13 at 8:53 pm.. Reason: redacted deleted post content and reply
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Old May 10, 13, 11:20 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO View Post
I guess I'm one of the few that would rather see AA with a strategic advantage of having its own connection to TBIT. Opening the T4-T5 tunnel allows seamless operations for DL/Skyteam between T5-TBIT. I'll deal with the shuttle bus if it preserves this advantage for AA/OW.

The only reason For opening the tunnel is if AA is finally going to exercise their options for any gates in T6.
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Old May 10, 13, 11:39 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
There won't be a new corridor connecting T-4 to the other southside terminals. As they're already connected with the tunnels, this new TBIT to T-4 building will enable sterile walking (if the T-4 tunnel is reopened).

This new building also includes a bus station to permit other southside airlines to bus their passengers to/from TBIT if they choose.
I may have jumped the gun on assuming the T4-T5 tunnel would reopen. The FB post was vague, but this news release suggests that the "secure connections" to T5-T8 will (only?) be on buses via the new busport that will also be part of the T4-TBIT connector:

http://www.lawa.org/newsContent.aspx?ID=1727

Having said that, it is fairly stupid that a perfectly good T4-T5 tunnel remains mothballed, especially since the T5-T7 part remains open. I'm not even sure it is LAX's fault, isn't it some sort of pi$$ing match b/t AA and DL involving AS connections or something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
Eventually, the skybridge that will connect TBIT West to TBIT (tall enough for jets to pass underneath) will have two levels - one a walkway and the other automated (I think some sort of tram). That bridge is shown in renderings to continue as far as T-4 or T-5. And of course, those renderings include Mayor Hahn's suspended proposal to demolish the central parking garages and build a huge consolidated terminal in their place for the northside terminals, complete with the off-site check-in building and automated people mover.
I think the skybridge idea may be toast. There are more recent docs floating around suggesting that the connex from TBIT to the MSC may now be a tunnel that could also connect to the proposed airside peoplemover system around LAX.

http://www.airliners.net/uf/view.fil...phpOD7heu.jpeg
http://www.lawa.org/mscnorth/theproject.aspx (upper-right hand pic)
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