Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa was joined today by airport officials, business leaders, local celebrity chefs, and media from around the world to launch a series of unique events designed to showcase Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and create global excitement for the New Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) before construction is completed later this year. The events continue Thursday night when Westfield hosts a Preview Gala where media, industry leaders, travel and tourism stakeholders, and the many project partners and individuals helping to bring the new terminal to fruition will gather. Then on Saturday, June 22, officials will rededicate the Tom Bradley bronze bust, and nearly 12,000 Angelenos will participate in LAX Appreciation Day, a community open house.
The preview events provide a sneak peek of the South Concourse Aircraft Gate Areas and 150,000-square-foot Great Hall, which will soon impress passengers from around the world with more than 60 premier dining and luxury retail shops – including 22 local L.A. brands – and world-class amenities. A highlight of the New TBIT is one of the most advanced multimedia Integrated Environmental Media Systems (IEMS) at a North American airport, designed to create an unprecedented passenger experience and a non-aeronautical revenue source for LAX.
The Preview Gala will feature the grand premiere of the 72-foot-tall digital Time Tower, a soaring interactive media structure with changing clock faces that is one of the most significant elements of the state-of-the-art IEMS. The Hollywood Scoring Orchestra will provide a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience with the debut of an original symphonic overture, Portale – A Symphonic Poem, especially composed by Emmanuel Fratianni and Laurie Robinson and commissioned by Westfield. The piece celebrates the New TBIT and will be dedicated to the people of Los Angeles. The performing ensemble of 70 will feature special performances by the International Children’s Choir, multi-ethnic percussionists, and world-renowned soloists.
On Saturday’s LAX Appreciation Day, some 10,000 members of the general public will join construction workers, airport employees and their families to get a first look at the facility they helped to build. The day’s activities will include special entertainment; architecture, aviation and USO displays; multi-sensory media experience; art tours; raffle prizes; and the canine teams of the popular PUP (Pets Unstressing Passengers) Program. Also on Saturday morning, officials will be joined by the family of former Mayor Tom Bradley for a ceremonial rededication of the newly refurbished 10-foot-tall bronze bust that welcomes departing passengers as part of a remodeled terminal entry.
The New TBIT is considered the crown jewel of the US$4.1-billion LAX Capital Improvements Program-Phase 1, the largest public works project in the history of the City of Los Angeles. The New TBIT Project is creating nearly 4,000 construction-related jobs during the project’s 5-year schedule and nearly 2,000 permanent concession jobs when the terminal begins operations. The facilities previewed today are expected to become operational later this year following comprehensive systems testing throughout the terminal, as well as training and certification of thousands of airport and airline employees in operating some of the new, state-of-the-art systems, such as the new laser-based, automated passenger boarding bridges and aircraft docking systems.
New TBIT’s initial US$1.5-billion cost remains on budget for construction, public art, architectural and engineering designs, permits, and other “soft” costs for the terminal facility itself. Since the original design was completed, several individual projects estimated at a total of US$400 million and budgeted separately under the overall LAX Capital Improvements Program-Phase 1, have been shifted from other project budgets, and integrated into the New TBIT project budget to ensure timely completion of the overall project. These include: the IEMS, additional airline club lounge space, increased food-and-beverage concession areas, demolition of the existing north and south boarding gate concourses, and rebuilding the aircraft parking aprons (tarmac) and 2 taxi lanes. Total budget for the New TBIT Project is now US$1.9 billion. The LAX Capital improvements Program remains at the original US$4.1-billion budget. With the additional scope items, overall New TBIT Project is expected to be completed in 2015.
The New TBIT Project cost is funded from LAX’s operating revenues, capital improvement program funds, fees from airlines, passenger facility charges, and airport revenue bond proceeds. NO monies from the City’s general fund are being used.
The new terminal is expected to help LAX retain its competitiveness as the premier U.S. West Coast international gateway, especially to the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region.
“The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX is the first and last impression 9 million travelers have of Los Angeles every year,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This new terminal enhances passenger safety and security, while giving travelers the first-class airport experience they expect from a world-class city like Los Angeles. Customer service improvements at LAX contribute to travelers having positive experiences in our great city, making them want to return.”
Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Michael Lawson said, “LAX is the U.S. West Coast’s premier international gateway – especially to Asia-Pacific, the fastest growing commercial aviation region in the world. We greatly appreciate the Mayor’s support to LAWA in reaching today’s milestone. The new terminal will improve passenger comfort, convenience and safety, and will help LAX retain its global competitiveness.”
Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said, “Passenger-friendly terminals and conveniences, airplane-friendly taxiways and gates are all ‘must haves’ as airports around the world compete for the economic vitality that world-class airports create. Our goal is to modernize LAX to ensure it retains its vital role as the cornerstone of Southern California’s air transportation system.”
New Iconic Architecture
The intent of Fentress Architects’ design of the New TBIT is inspired by the Pacific Ocean on LAX’s west side, with a flowing roofline that recalls the rhythm of waves breaking on the beach. An open and spacious 110-foot-tall Great Hall suffused with natural daylight acknowledges Southern California’s temperate climate, while its aluminum roof arches over the column-free structure. This creates a single, cohesive, architectural theme that unifies the entire terminal, inside and out. The new terminal has already won architectural design awards and is expected to become a new iconic structure for Los Angeles, joining the historical LAX Theme Building and its parabolic arches.
“The successful LAX of the 21st century will be a consummate host to the world, both seamlessly integrating into its context and embodying the spirit of Los Angeles in such a way that it becomes a new, modern landmark by which the region is recognized worldwide,” said Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, principal in charge of design of the New Tom Bradley International Terminal.
World-Class Dining and Retail Showcase Local Favorites and Global Designer Brands
Terminal Concessions Manager Westfield and its partners are investing US$79.8-million to deliver an iconic, world-class traveler experience at the New TBIT. Featuring 360-degree views, inviting storefronts and sustainable elements, the dining and retail design criteria by Westfield provides travelers with unique areas to explore as they journey to their destination. With 31 exciting new options – 3 times more than before – ranging from luxury dining to healthy-and-fresh sit-down to grab-and-go, Westfield’s dining collections showcase freshness, demonstration cooking, and sophisticated architecture, and celebrates local restaurants with culinary delights from renowned Top Chefs Michael Voltaggio, duo Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Suzanne Goin, and others, whose cuisine reflect Los Angeles’ culture, diversity and trends.
“Westfield is pleased to bring our global resources and experience in creating iconic shopping destinations to transform LAX, starting right here in the New Tom Bradley International Terminal – our global gateway,” said Peter S. Lowy, Co-chief Executive Officer of the Westfield Group. “We have leveraged Westfield’s award-winning design capabilities with the best local brands to completely transform the airport experience into the LAX travelers have dreamed of, and the LAX they deserve.”
Blending many of the world’s best known luxury designer brands with a distinctly Los Angeles flavor, Westfield’s retail collection, joined by a US$25-million investment in the duty-free program by DFS Group, will provide travelers with an array of shopping choices in news-and-gifts, specialty retail, and duty-free shopping, including shops from local institutions such as Fred Segal and Kitson.
“We are delighted to be playing a part in creating this exceptional airport oasis for world travelers at the Tom Bradley International Terminal,” said Philippe Schaus, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DFS Group. “With our investment of more than US$25 million to the new concessions and boutiques, as well as the addition of 100 jobs to our retail operations, we have every confidence that we will very soon be able to begin delivering all world travelers at LAX one of the most exciting and luxurious shopping experiences available today.”
An Integrated Environmental Media System (IEMS) is an aspect of the new terminal that focuses on the engaging passenger experience. The IEMS Project – directed by MRA International and designed by Sardi Design – is comprised of 7 iconic, architecturally-scaled media features built within the new terminal’s architecture and designed to enhance a particular aspect of the passenger departure or arrival experience. Carefully-curated multimedia content produced by Moment Factory and brand content produced by Digital Kitchen celebrate the joy and romance of travel and highlights Los Angeles’ unique personality as a world-leading creative hub. It is the first media system to synchronize multiple features through a state-of-the-art, content-management system that creates an integrated environmental experience based on intelligence from live data, including flight departure and arrival information, and passenger interactions. Airport officials expect to later program the IEMS to also serve as a source of non-aeronautical revenues through corporate sponsorships. The content management system was designed by Smart Monkeys Inc., and Electrosonic Inc. performed systems engineering and integration.
The enhanced passenger experience also includes 3 iconic, permanent public artworks to be installed later this year and in 2014, in keeping with the City of Los Angeles’ Public Percent-for-Art Program, whereby one percent of construction costs is designated for public art. Three local artists/artist teams have been commissioned: Ball-Nogues Studio is creating a hovering, 7,000-pound sculpture titled Air Garden to be located in the north light well; Pae White Studio is creating a suspended tapestry titled Woven Walk for the north and south sterile international arrival corridors leading to federal customs and immigration screening; and Mark Bradford is creating a sculpture titled Bell Tower to be suspended above a newly-relocated federal passenger security screening area on the mezzanine level of the terminal.
A significant improvement to the “curbside appeal” of the terminal’s upper and lower level entries also was accomplished in time for the preview events. Phase 1 of the New Face of LAX Central Terminal Area Project replaced planters with a colorful light band and new signage more clearly indicating the terminal’s name. Street lamp poles were replaced with new retro-designed poles with brighter, energy-efficient, light-emitting-diode (LED) lights.
Passengers will experience a first-class level of comfort and convenience with:
– 18 new aircraft boarding gates, of which half can accommodate larger, new-generation (Group VI) aircraft, such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 747-8
– Roomier boarding gate/waiting areas with half of the seats integrated with electrical outlets for charging personal electronic devices
– Triple (for A380s) and dual passenger-loading bridges for faster boarding and deplaning
– Great Hall with 150,000 square feet of premier dining, retail shopping, airline lounges, a children’s play area, spa, and other passenger amenities
– Public art commissions and Integrated Environmental Media System consisting of 7 iconic state-of-the-art features
– Fully modernized facility will be able to accommodate 4,500 passengers per hour, up from current 2,800 passengers
The New TBIT Project is creating nearly 4,000 construction-related jobs during the project’s 5-year schedule, and nearly 2,000 permanent new concession jobs when the terminal begins operations. An estimated 90 percent of the construction workforce comes from Southern California, and 40 percent of the workers are residents of the City of Los Angeles and other communities near LAX.
Phase 1 of the New TBIT Project, which broke ground in February 2010, includes north and south concourses with 9 boarding gates on the west side of the terminal that can accommodate larger, new-generation (Category 6) aircraft, such as the Airbus 380 super jumbo jet and the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. A Great Hall features 150,000 square feet for casual dining and full-service restaurants; news-and-gift, specialty retail and duty-free shopping options; airline lounges and other passenger amenities. The project will add nearly 1.2 million square feet to double the size of the existing terminal. Over 15,500 tons of structural steel was used during construction – enough to build an 80-story building.
Phase 2 of the project, which begins immediately after completion of Phase 1, includes demolition of the existing terminal’s east side gates; new boarding bridges and aircraft aprons on the east side of the new terminal; upgraded federal customs and immigration inspection areas; relocation of and upgraded federal passenger security screening area; public art installations; and secured corridors between Terminal 3, TBIT and Terminal 4 so connecting passengers can conveniently go from one terminal to the next.
The project addresses Los Angeles World Airports’ goal for a “greener” LAX. In accordance with LAWA’s Sustainable Design and Construction Guidelines released in 2007, the New TBIT Project optimizes the use of recycled building materials, minimizes the amount of energy used during construction, and optimized energy efficiency. The architecture and construction of the new facilities are designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
In addition, as part of the program’s environmental requirements and the project-level Environmental Impact Report prepared in accordance with Los Angeles City and California state regulations and in consultation with community stakeholders, the construction project incorporates practices developed to minimize adverse environmental impacts on the surrounding areas, including, but not limited to: designating specific routes construction vehicles must use when traveling to/from the site; recycling or salvaging more than 75 percent of construction and demolition waste; placing concrete mixers and other equipment on-site to reduce the number of trips made by construction vehicles; retrofitting construction equipment with emission- and noise-reduction devices; installing efficient lighting fixtures and controls with occupancy sensors throughout the terminal to reduce lighting costs and save energy during off-peak hours; installing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning controls that reset temperatures to maximum efficiency without sacrificing occupant comfort; using interior finishes with materials made of recycled content; installing low-flow plumbing fixtures in restrooms; and controlling dust. Of note, permanent left-turn and right-term lanes at 2 intersections of Imperial Highway adjacent to LAX were constructed to mitigate the impact of construction-related traffic.
LAWA Deputy Executive Director for Airports Development Group Roger Johnson and New TBIT Project Manager Mike Doucette are leading and managing the design and construction of the new terminal. Construction is being performed by Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Los Angeles, which is comprised of Walsh Construction Company and Austin Commercial.
Walsh Austin Joint Venture Project Principal Joe Thompson said, “The construction of this truly iconic structure for the City of Los Angeles is exciting, and we take pride in delivering it.”
About Los Angeles International Airport
The more than 30 airlines at Tom Bradley International Terminal served 8.6 million international travelers in 2012, or 50 percent of LAX’s overall 17 million international passenger volume. LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering 680 daily flights to 96 domestic cities and 930 weekly nonstop flights to 59 cities in 30 countries on 63 commercial air carriers. It ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed. In 2012, LAX served nearly 63.7 million passengers, processed over 1.9 million tons of air cargo valued at over US$86.9 billion, and handled 605,480 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs). An economic impact study in 2011 reported that operations at LAX generated 294,400 jobs in Los Angeles County with labor income of US$13.6 billion and economic output of more than US$39.7 billion. This activity added US$2.5 billion to local and state revenues. LAX is part of a system of 3 Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.