New ticketing areas and security checkpoints will be added as part of the Terminal 4/5 modernisation at the Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
The eastern half of the Terminal 4 headhouse was closed to facilitate demolition works as part of the modernisation project in February 2022. Credit: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
Level one of the Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 4.5 Core opened as part of the first phase of the Terminal 4/5 modernisation project in November 2022. Credit: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
A pedestrian bridge will connect the Terminal 4.5 Core to the future automated people mover (APM) station at the airport. Credit: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
The Terminal 4.5 Core is designed to provide access to all four levels of the terminal. Credit: Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

The Terminal 4/5 modernisation project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, US, is part of a capital improvement programme worth $15bn. To be completed in 2027, the modernisation is a multi-year project involving major improvements such as a 30-gate complex, a new departure hall, and improved access.

The first phase of the $1.62bn project to modernise the 60-year-old Terminal 4 (T4) and Terminal 5 (T5) at the Los Angeles International Airport included the construction of Terminal 4.5 Core, between the two terminals.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the Terminal 4.5 Core project was conducted in July 2019. The facility was opened in November 2022. Its construction involved more than 3,100 workers.

Other improvements under the terminal 4/5 modernisation

Expected to be completed in 2024, the next phase of the project includes the new Terminal 4 Headhouse, which will comprise a new consolidated security checkpoint area, as well as ticketing and baggage claim counters for American Airlines.

The headhouse entrances of T4 and T5 will be combined to create a 300,000ft² (27,870m²) centralised facility. The side connection between the two terminals will enhance passenger movement between T4, T5, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

The modernisation will improve passenger experience by providing smooth access from check-in to security screening areas. The project will establish 16 security screening lanes equipped with automated technology.

Advanced signage technology will be installed to assist passengers to reach the gates easily. Additional power outlets, along with new retail and dining spaces, will also be provided at the gate areas.

As part of the modernisation project, a new south concourse will be built inside T4 to provide additional space for restrooms, concessions, hold rooms, and a bus gate. Upgrades will also be performed at the north concourse to increase the efficiency of passenger mobility.

Details of the Terminal 4.5 Core

The Terminal 4.5 Core allows passengers to access all four levels of the terminal using stairs, elevators, and escalators for baggage claim, check-ins, and security checkpoints.

The core area also comprises office spaces for airlines, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and law enforcement agencies.

Furthermore, it will connect T4 and T5 to the West Central Terminal Area station of the future automated people mover (APM) train project, through a pedestrian walkway.

The APM project is being implemented as part of Los Angeles International Airport’s $5.5bn Landside Access Modernisation Program (LAMP).

The Terminal 4.5 Core project is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for incorporating environmental-friendly measures such as reduced energy and water consumption, and adopting sustainable transportation.

Contractors involved

Hensel Phelps, a general contractor and construction services provider based in the US, was engaged to provide construction services for the Terminal 4/5 modernisation project, including the Terminal 4.5 Core project.

Gensler, an architecture firm based in the US, was appointed as the chief architect for the Terminal 4.5 Core project. PGAL, an international design firm based in the US, was contracted to serve as the design partner for the T4 modernisation.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) details

The Los Angeles International Airport is the world’s fifth busiest airport and the second busiest in the US.

It is owned by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which is a branch of the Los Angeles city government. It features a total of nine terminals.

The passenger traffic handled by the airport stood at 28.77 million passengers in 2020, which increased by 71.4% to 48 million in 2021. The airport handled 2.46 million tonnes (Mt) of cargo in 2020 and 2.97Mt in 2021.

The airport is undergoing a capital improvement programme that will modernise all nine terminals. The programme also includes the construction of new facilities such as a consolidated rent-a-car (ConRAC) facility, the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal, and the APM train.