Los Angeles officials broke ground on phase one of the new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The $1.6bn five-level facility and associated new baggage system will provide the airport with 12 new gates, an enhanced guest experience, and additional flexibility to accommodate aircraft during other upgrade projects at LAX.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: “LAX means so much to L.A.’s economy — it’s an incredible job-creator, employing more than 50,000 people. A record 47.3 million tourists visited our city last year — that's why we’re investing billions to make it one of the premier airports in the world.
“The Midfield Satellite Concourse is a transformational project that will put thousands of people to work and help extend L.A.’s worldwide reach even further."
Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint said: “Our passengers will soon experience LAX in a new and exciting way.
“With our vision of delivering gold-standard airports, the Midfield Satellite Concourse will be built with sustainability principles and architectural features that reflect Los Angeles with great views and natural daylight.
"We will provide our guests with a new concourse ready for the technology enhancements of tomorrow.”
Intended as an extension of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), the new 750,000ft² concourse will be located west of TBIT and linked by a 1,000ft-long underground pedestrian tunnel with moving walkways.
Buses will also be used to transport passengers between the concourse and other terminals.
The facility will also feature an early-bag storage and baggage make-up system to serve the added gates.
A companion baggage optimisation project will also include additional baggage services to serve existing TBIT gates.
Two of the new gates will accommodate the larger Airbus 380 and Boeing 747-8 jets, while the remaining 10 gates will accommodate Boeing 777s and 787s, and the Airbus 330s and 350s.
The new gates are also expected to reduce the airport’s current reliance on remote gates on the west side of the airfield, which lack passenger services, concessions and other amenities.
LAX was visited by nearly 81 million passengers in 2016.