The Los Angeles City Council has approved the largest-ever contract awarded in the city’s history, a $4.9bn agreement between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) to build an automated people mover (APM) system at the airport.

LINXS is comprised of ACS Infrastructure Development, Balfour Beatty, Dragados USA, Flatiron, Fluor, HDR, HTNB and HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions, which will deliver the APM system over the next 30 years. Bombardier has also been contracted to provide the APM operating system and all autonomous vehicles.

“We are pleased to have received unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council, the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee and the Board of Airport Commission for this contract that will propel LAX to be amongst the world’s best airports,” said Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Board CEO Deborah Flint. “The LINXS team contract brings more than we required, and through this partnership, this project will transform the airport and will also transform lives in our local community.”

The APM aims to improve convenience, reliability and accessibility at the airport and trains will arrive every two minutes and have wide doors and windows. Station platforms will be equipped with escalators, lifts and moving walkways to expedite access to terminals. New constructions will also include a viewing platform of the city’s Theme Building, as well as an LED light band to illuminate the 2.25-mile guideway.

The airport saw 84.6 million passengers in 2017, and LAWA estimates that the APM will be able to assist 87.7 million passengers per year, equivalent to 10,000 per hour. The service is intended to be in service from 2023.

“Every person who boards a train to the airport represents a car that will not need to be on local roads, contributing to traffic in neighbourhoods near LAX and adding more pollution to our air,” said LA council member Mike Bonin. “By making getting to and from LAX more convenient and stress-free for travellers with a connected and efficient transportation system, we are making life better for the people who live in the Westchester and Playa del Rey neighbourhoods near the airport.

“I am excited and encouraged by today’s vote and I congratulate LAWA on making progress toward finally connecting the region’s largest airport with more public transportation options.”