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LAX Terminal Construction and Landside Access Modernization Program

Old Jan 23, 2024, 9:45 am
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LAX Terminal Construction and Landside Access Modernization Program

Old Jul 8, 2023, 10:35 am
  #181  
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Originally Posted by TWA884
There is a better version of this plan here, which I been unable able to upload; it is to scale and has a legend.
Success!

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Old Jul 8, 2023, 3:24 pm
  #182  
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Originally Posted by dhuey
I think LAX and the regional planners need to take the long view on this and build such transportation infrastructure now. Poor planning in previous decades is why ground transportation in/out of LAX is among the worst of any major airport in the world right now. It's amazing how long it can take to get through the horseshoe these days.
Better to build in and up the mass transit infrastructure sooner than later unless expecting a catastrophic drop in population and traffic at LAX. Even if airlines are eventually going to upgauge for their flight movements at/around LAX, that’s going to likely mean worse traffic at times for those trying to get to and from the airport. It’s not going to get any cheaper to do big projects later in such a large population center.
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Old Jul 8, 2023, 4:53 pm
  #183  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Better to build in and up the mass transit infrastructure sooner than later unless expecting a catastrophic drop in population and traffic at LAX. Even if airlines are eventually going to upgauge for their flight movements at/around LAX, thatís going to likely mean worse traffic at times for those trying to get to and from the airport. Itís not going to get any cheaper to do big projects later in such a large population center.
They're really trying to get it all done in time for 2028 so that getting into/out of/around LA during the olympics just sucks like normal LA rather than being an unfathomable nightmare.
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Old Jul 8, 2023, 9:49 pm
  #184  
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These are exciting developments. I look forward to watching this thread over the next five years.

It was a gamechanger when BART opened at SFO in 2003. I look forward to the same ease of public transit connections when visiting SoCal.
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Old Jul 8, 2023, 9:50 pm
  #185  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Better to build in and up the mass transit infrastructure sooner than later unless expecting a catastrophic drop in population and traffic at LAX. Even if airlines are eventually going to upgauge for their flight movements at/around LAX, thatís going to likely mean worse traffic at times for those trying to get to and from the airport. Itís not going to get any cheaper to do big projects later in such a large population center.
The almost unfathomable incompetence with LA airport management ignoring the need for upgrades over so many years, decades, then trying to slam a band-aid project through just because of the Olympics, and lacking any innovative ideas, flies to Miami to take the blueprints for their multi-modal shared facility and high speed people mover system, to copy an almost identical implementation in LA.

They needed an over-cap built across all the terminal buildings to link them by the people mover, and have the cars setup so carry-on baggage customers could check in online, go to the multi-model center to do a kiosk check-in, clear security and board a secure airside car to their terminal assignment, while those needing to check bags or agent services would take the unsecure train cars and go downstairs to the counters for service. The now fully connected terminals could then use flex gate assignments to spread flights around the terminals and better utilize the gate space currently available before building more terminals.

Yes, that would have taken more innovation, more time, more money spent, but with better results, more longevity for the airport, better resource utilization and the putting off future upgrade which may never be needed for decades to come.

But LAWA was so busy trying to put ONT out of business, they didn't have time for more innovative project design until their "oh no, the Olympics are coming and our airport is a total hole" wake-up moment.
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 6:31 am
  #186  
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We get the airport management we deserve. LA airport management — like so many other things in the area and across the country when it comes to infrastructure, urban planning and development plans in general — is plagued by short-sightedness and going for band-aids that are too little and too late while the resources go toward suffering the public’s continuing love affair for getting around by car. But as I do a poor job of walking my talk on this in California — as with my repeated (albeit sporadic) use of cars to get to and from SFO even after the BART station opened at the airport — I would be surprised if this development with LAX will move the dial much for me in driving me off from driving in cars in general in the area.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jul 9, 2023 at 6:37 am
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 1:07 pm
  #187  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I would be surprised if this development with LAX will move the dial much for me in driving me off from driving in cars in general in the area.
The LAX horseshoe roadway problem isn't too many regular cars, but the volume of commercial vehicles from hotels, car rental companies, tour buses, LAWA buses, limo/taxi etc. I'm not sure when most of these vehicles are forced out of the loops the private traffic will overwhelm the loop.
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 3:48 pm
  #188  
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
The almost unfathomable incompetence with LA airport management ignoring the need for upgrades over so many years, decades, then trying to slam a band-aid project through just because of the Olympics, and lacking any innovative ideas, flies to Miami to take the blueprints for their multi-modal shared facility and high speed people mover system, to copy an almost identical implementation in LA.

They needed an over-cap built across all the terminal buildings to link them by the people mover, and have the cars setup so carry-on baggage customers could check in online, go to the multi-model center to do a kiosk check-in, clear security and board a secure airside car to their terminal assignment, while those needing to check bags or agent services would take the unsecure train cars and go downstairs to the counters for service. The now fully connected terminals could then use flex gate assignments to spread flights around the terminals and better utilize the gate space currently available before building more terminals.

Yes, that would have taken more innovation, more time, more money spent, but with better results, more longevity for the airport, better resource utilization and the putting off future upgrade which may never be needed for decades to come.
That would have essentially required completely rebuilding 8 or 9 terminal cores (depending on if you wanted to include T8) - all the concrete you see supporting the people mover guideway would have to drop down through the terminals or be doubled in front of and behind to let the supports span them and would have been far more disruptive for far longer. If you really want to consolidate things, the best thing to do once the people mover is done would probably be to knock down all the CTA parking, build a new consolidated headhouse underneath the people mover, and then make the airside alleys longer inward. No more horseshoe. But good luck with getting rid of that many parking spaces. And you'd probably need to add a couple more people movers going to points farther out where you can gather people to ship them into the airport.

I don't know how much time you spend at LAX these days, but why would you want a kiosk to check in if you're just with a carry on? I haven't used a kiosk in years at any airport. I check in on my phone before I get to the airport and prefer that there are 8 separate security checkpoints - it's rare for me to take longer than 5 minutes from the curb to airside (if it's even that long). Kiosks are for people who need to print bag tags. It's usually faster for me to park in the Economy lot and take the bus that gets to use the LAWA lanes than it is to park in the CTA because CTA traffic is so bad. Once the people mover is running, the timing should be even more predictable and reliably faster on average than parking in the CTA.

As a passenger I don't particularly want flex gate assignments, and I suspect the airlines don't, either. Knowing which terminal I'm going into makes all my preflight planning easier, and terminals being tied to airlines also limits how far you can get moved in a gate change. It also makes baggage transfers easier and faster for the airlines. Flex gates would also increase airside ground traffic significantly.

Originally Posted by HkCaGu
The LAX horseshoe roadway problem isn't too many regular cars, but the volume of commercial vehicles from hotels, car rental companies, tour buses, LAWA buses, limo/taxi etc. I'm not sure when most of these vehicles are forced out of the loops the private traffic will overwhelm the loop.
The personal cars are as much of a problem as the commercial vehicles - the commercial vehicles are on average going to be more space efficient (passengers per square foot of pavement occupied) than personal vehicles that typically only carry one or two passengers who are coming into or leaving the airport. The LAWA buses are one of the most space efficient/high thorughput things going at LAX. They're generally large, rarely empty, and they don't have to fight traffic with personal vehicles once they're in the horseshoe. Dedicating those lanes and eliminating the crisscross traffic of personal vehicles and buses continually crossing multiple lanes and each other is one of the best things LAWA has done in the 25 years I've been using LAX.
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 6:46 pm
  #189  
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Originally Posted by HkCaGu
The LAX horseshoe roadway problem isn't too many regular cars, but the volume of commercial vehicles from hotels, car rental companies, tour buses, LAWA buses, limo/taxi etc. I'm not sure when most of these vehicles are forced out of the loops the private traffic will overwhelm the loop.
These are also professional, experienced drivers who are really not at all thinking about other drivers on the road. Granted, private drivers could certainly be problematic also, but when the Avis bus pulls across two lanes to let people out, then gets up and helps them with their luggage, all the while blocking two lanes, I see that getting these out will help tremendously.

And don't get me started on the bus with the air brakes shooting out their compressed air every 15 seconds . . .
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 8:53 pm
  #190  
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Originally Posted by josephstern
These are also professional, experienced drivers who are really not at all thinking about other drivers on the road. Granted, private drivers could certainly be problematic also, but when the Avis bus pulls across two lanes to let people out, then gets up and helps them with their luggage, all the while blocking two lanes, I see that getting these out will help tremendously.

And don't get me started on the bus with the air brakes shooting out their compressed air every 15 seconds . . .
I wouldn't call those shuttle drivers professional - many of them shouldn't be allowed to drive a bicycle, let alone a large public bus. I actually fell once on one of those buses due to the erratic driving and braking by the driver.

As to the air brakes, that's something I won't miss either - nor sucking on the diesel fumes in the enclosed arrival space while watching 15 Avis/Budget/Hertz/etc buses drive by until one National/Enterprise bus showed up
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Old Jul 9, 2023, 9:03 pm
  #191  
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Originally Posted by chrisl137
That would have essentially required completely rebuilding 8 or 9 terminal cores (depending on if you wanted to include T8) - all the concrete you see supporting the people mover guideway would have to drop down through the terminals or be doubled in front of and behind to let the supports span them and would have been far more disruptive for far longer. If you really want to consolidate things, the best thing to do once the people mover is done would probably be to knock down all the CTA parking, build a new consolidated headhouse underneath the people mover, and then make the airside alleys longer inward. No more horseshoe. But good luck with getting rid of that many parking spaces. And you'd probably need to add a couple more people movers going to points farther out where you can gather people to ship them into the airport.

....
I certainly won't claim to be an architect, but I pictured the tracks being supported by an archway over the road/garages that then joined the roof support of the terminal buildings and was also capable of providing additional support to the new stations that would have sat over a spot between each of the terminals instead of over the garage structure. The stations would have been split into airside/landside so the same trains would have airside and landside cars to move people between the terminals, thus allowing flexible gate assignments. Had they started the project 10 years earlier, as they should have given the modernization and capacity increases needed by the airport, it wouldn't have been such a disruptive issue, and would have already been finished.

Also, instead of trying to destroy ONT, they could have leveraged ONT/BUR/LGB to shift some of the domestic O/D air traffic away from LAX to reduce capacity needs during the construction phase and incentivize some of the traffic to alternate airports.

But, of course it's LAWA we're dealing with, so <shoulder shrug>
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Old Jul 10, 2023, 1:21 pm
  #192  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen

As to the air brakes, that's something I won't miss either - nor sucking on the diesel fumes in the enclosed arrival space while watching 15 Avis/Budget/Hertz/etc buses drive by until one National/Enterprise bus showed up
There haven't been any diesel buses in LAX in about 15 years.

Traffic congestion in the horseshoe is always going to be there during peak times. That's just how traffic works. If you remove the buses, the road capacity will be filled up immediately by other vehicles. If we want free flowing traffic in the CTA all the time, the only way do ensure that is to implement congestion charge. The bus lane is a huge improvement. You can now reliably exit the horseshoe in less than 10 minutes even during the worst traffic hours.

The APM offers an alternative to driving (or riding the bus) into the CTA so that's going to help a lot with those of us that do not want to experience the congestion inside the horseshoe. Rental car experience in particular will be dramatically improved. Instead of waiting for a bus that have unpredictable arrive due to traffic, and then riding up to 30 minutes to get to the rental lot, it will be a max 2 min wait for APM, follow up 7 minutes ride to the consolidated rental car center.

But many more people like to experience the congestion... there is an irrational preference to be dropped off and picked up right in front of the terminal.

Last edited by bzcat; Jul 10, 2023 at 1:26 pm
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Old Jul 12, 2023, 9:43 am
  #193  
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Originally Posted by bzcat

But many more people like to experience the congestion... there is an irrational preference to be dropped off and picked up right in front of the terminal.
I grew up in the land of "why park in a space that is available right away that will mean an extra 30 second walk to the store entrance when you can circle around the lot for 10 minutes to get a closer space?" Totally normal Angeleno behavior

As to the "loop," I've dissuaded family members from coming to LAX when I've got a connection that might otherwise permit a pleasant visit for a couple of hours. APM may change that game.
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Old Jul 30, 2023, 2:20 pm
  #194  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen
Also, instead of trying to destroy ONT, they could have leveraged ONT/BUR/LGB to shift some of the domestic O/D air traffic away from LAX to reduce capacity needs during the construction phase and incentivize some of the traffic to alternate airports.
I don't have numbers, but as someone who flies out of BUR regularly, I feel BUR is at capacity. It cannot take any more traffic (air or land) during peak times, and it is physically and socially impossible for Burbank to do anything about it due to the neighbors. The Burbank experience is pretty bad in my opinion. Many think I am nuts, but I prefer LAX. More seating, more concessions (none of this Guy Fieri BS everywhere), TSA can be quicker during busy times, and fewer ground crew shenanigans. LAX T1 has fewer gates than all of BUR and has so many more places to get a snack or a drink.

Originally Posted by bzcat
Maybe a good time to point out that LAWA officially retired "Terminal 2" from its interactive map. It will slowly remove other signage and maps showing refences to "Terminal 2".

It is Terminal 3 which has two concourses - one of them being the former T2. The North side will go from T1 to T3 and then TBIT. LAX Map
This makes me sad. So many good memories of T2, flying on Hawaiian and Pan Am before that. Nothing but bad memories flying out of the dump known as (the old) T3, even I did love JetBlue and Virgin America. Since the new T3 seems smaller in footprint, it would have made more sense to name the whole thing T2, or T2/3. I digress.
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Old Aug 18, 2023, 6:01 pm
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So, I just did a trip LAX<->SFO by myself, which meant I could spend some time walking around. It feels like LAX, particularly T1-3, has "grown up." It definitely feels more efficient and more modern than it ever has. Gone are the days where each terminal is its own little world.

I used the Economy Parking structure because I was last minute. Surprisingly, it was almost at capacity. I hope there are plans for another one. If you prebook, the gate opens for you automatically, which is neat, and there are signs and lights indicating full aisles and where spaces are available. Exiting is a bit silly though. It doesn't scan your license plate like when entering. You have to then scan the prepaid QR code to exit. Several of us couldn't figure it out until the employee helped us. There is a cute robot that wanders each aisle to track vehicles. Access is quick from La Tijera Ave which helps avoid the traffic on Century. The shuttle ride between the structure and Skyway feels so long though. I look forward to the people mover.

T1 hasn't really changed, and I loved how much seating there was, and it was pretty quiet compared to BUR at 7am. Walking towards T2 is the new checkpoint between T1 and T2, and a somewhat annoying group of employees that are essentially asking you what you are doing. Their goal is to get Delta customers into the proper lines to take the shuttle to TBIT, but they seemed to double as security where I didn't feel comfortable saying "I am just walking to T3."

T2 made me a bit sad. The old security foyer had a nice architecture and that's either gone, or is strictly landside now. The concourse itself remains the same. It looks like the FIS corridors are still there, so I hope it starts operating again. At 10pm, it was a complete mad house compared to T1.

Then was the long walk to T3. Another checkpoint on the left before turning right. It feels like the gate 30/31 area is from the old terminal and was quite underwhelming. Surprisingly, the end of the concourse feels the same as the old T3! Terribly cramped, and even the ceiling looks similar. Again, it was a complete mad house at 10pm. Aside from the Delta Sky Club which looks really nice, T3 was kind of disappointing. It was nice not seeing the old bazaar of random concession stands, the weird smoking garden area and rusted NOAA sign, and the old food court.

It's convenient that everything is on the north side is connected, but the construction lacks character. It's very sterile and white, white and more white. It looks like much of it is temporary as stores and restaurants take up leases. I hope over time it reflects more of an LA vibe. It could also use moving walkways, at least for people connecting flights between T2 and T3.

The number of checkpoints and exits feels efficient. There were a few weird things introduced though. In T1, just to the right of the main exit under Urtth Cafe, there is a second exit, with shut doors, that is manned by a TSA agent. This never used to be there and seems pointless. One woman went through the doors, but the others were shooed towards the main exit. The T1/T2 corridor also has this bizarre exit that goes up a long ramp, almost to a third level. I am not sure what that's about.

Security seems tighter than it used to be. There are tons of contractors around asking people questions about where they are going, and the ominous PA about "Closed to the public 24 hours a day... everyone else must exit."

It wouldn't surprise me, when all is said and done, that T0,1,2,3 are renamed "Terminal 1" or "North Terminal" with concourses A, B, C and D, but I suppose that would cause a lot of confusion with roadways, and baggage claims.
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