A $1.5bn upgrade of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has been approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.
The upgrade will provide more room for overseas passengers and gates to accommodate large jetliners coming in and out of airport.
The Bradley West Project is expected to be complete by mid-2013 and has been funded by the sale of airport bonds.
The plan involved building nine new airline gates, which will serve super-sized jumbo jets including the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and two airline gates are expected to open by early
The new gates are also expected to reduce A380 passengers’ use of the remote gates located at the west end of the airport.
Passengers using the far gates will have to take a shuttle to the Bradley Terminal to be screened by federal authorities.
Several international carriers including Qantas Airways threatened to pull A380 services from LAX if it continued offering remote gates.
Under the plans, the terminal’s old concourse area will be demolished to make way for two entirely new concourses on the north and south sides of the building.
One million square feet have been allocated for ticketing desks, baggage claim areas, security screening, lounges, shops and restaurants under the terminal plans.
An expanded federal customs inspection area will also be built, along with a pair of secured corridors connecting with Terminals 3 and 4.
The project is placed for its final consideration before city council approvals.
Airport officials and local economists said the upgrades were needed to improve the facility, however, international carriers have been concerned at rising fees increased to pay for terminal upgrades.