Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the busiest airports in the US, is set to undergo a multi-billion modernisation programme that will enhance its landside accessibility.
Named the landside access modernisation programme (LAMP), the project was proposed by LAX’s owner and operator, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
The $5.5bn project aims to improve access to the airport, relieving congestion for passengers.
In November 2016, the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners voted to allow a request for proposals (RFP) for design, construction and engineering services under the LAMP project.
The project’s draft environmental impact report (DEIR) was released in September 2016. The final EIR is scheduled to be released towards the end of 2016, followed by the certification of the EIR and project approval.
Once approved, construction works will commence in the third quarter of 2017, with Phase 1 scheduled for completion in 2023 and subsequent phases to begin in 2025.
Need and objectives of LAMP
The seventh busiest airport in the world, LAX is anticipated to receive more than 96 million passengers a year by 2030.
Increasing traffic is creating problems for departing and arriving passengers at the airport. Heavy traffic congestion, limited curb and roadway space to accommodate pick-up / drop-off vehicles is leaving the passengers waiting in the crowded and uncomfortable curb.
To overcome all the challenges, LAWA proposed the LAMP project, which will ease congestion by developing intermodal transport facilities.
Landside access modernisation programme (LAMP) details
The project primarily comprises four components, including a 2.25mi (3.62km) automated people mover (APM), a consolidated rental car centre (CONRAC), two intermodal transfer facilities (ITF) and a connection to metro rail system.
It will also include roadway and infrastructure improvements to improve access to the proposed facilities, modifications to passenger terminals, and a parking garage to support the APM system.
Other enabling projects include relocation, demolition or replacement of existing facilities.
Automated people mover system (APM) at LAX
The automated people mover (APM) system will be a fully-automated, above-ground transport system providing access to the airport terminals, car rental facilities, parking and other important areas within the airport.
The APM system will be served by nine electrically propelled trains, each with a length of 175ft, and featuring four cars capable of carrying 50 passengers. The trains will operate with a two-minute wait time, while the total time from one end of the APM to another will be approximately nine minutes.
Intermodal transportation facilities
Two intermodal transportation facilities (ITF), namely ITF West facility and ITF East facility, are included in the project to provide an alternative access to the airport’s terminals through the APM system.
The facilities will transfer the passengers from their vehicles to the APM system and help reduce congestion on the airport’s internal roadway network.
The ITF West station will include an APM station, two new public parking garages, a commercial vehicle curb, and internal circulation roads. The APM station will be a multi-level facility featuring a 46ft-elevated platform.
Two vertical circulation cores with elevators, escalators, and stairs will enable the passengers to reach ground level, while the walkways will provide access to level two of the public parking garages.
The ITF East facility will transfer the passengers from private and commercial vehicles through the APM station to the CTA and other passenger terminals. It will also provide access to the Metro Crenshaw / LAX light rail line at a future station.
The East facility will also provide pedestrian access and movement to the site.
Consolidated rent-a-car facility (CONRAC)
More than 20 rental car companies (RACs) are located near the airport.
To alleviate the traffic congestion created by these companies, LAWA has planned a consolidated rental car facility to host all of the agencies.
To be located adjacent to the 405 freeway, the CONRAC facility will provide direct connections to the airport through the APM system.
Metro transit connection
To provide rail and bus links to the airport, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has approved the addition of the Airport Metro Connector (AMC) 96th Street Transit Station to the existing Crenshaw / LAX Line.
The AMC will connect the regional transit system to the Los Angeles airport‘s CTA through an APM station, which is planned above the proposed metro station.
It will feature a bus plaza, a passenger pick-up / drop-off zone, and pedestrians and cyclist facilities, which will be served by both the Metro Green and the Crenshaw / LAX Lines.