Los Angeles City Council approves $4.8bn LAX airport modernisation plan

1 May 2013 (Last Updated May 1st, 2013 18:30)

Los Angeles City Council has approved a $4.8bn modernisation and safety-enhancement plan for Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles AIrport

Los Angeles City Council has approved a $4.8bn modernisation and safety-enhancement plan for Los Angeles International Airport.

As per the plan, the northern most runway would be shifted 260ft closer to the Westchester and Playa del Rey neighbourhoods.

The project involves improvements including a consolidated rental car facility, ground transportation centre, in addition to the creation of a transportation station for light rail, and linking passengers to terminals through an automated elevated people mover.

LAX's current airfield was built in the 1960s to serve planes that are half the size the current models, which leads to landing delays as flights use a nonstandard process to arrive at LAX.

Shifting the runway would create space for construction of a taxi lane, which could accommodate larger aircrafts.

"As per the plan, the northern most runway would be shifted 260ft closer to the Westchester and Playa del Rey neighbourhoods."

It would also boost safety and enhance operational efficiency in the current configuration, including two parallel runways that are 700ft apart, making the airfield highly overcrowded for larger aircraft.

Work on the project, which is not expected to start for five years, involves demolishing Terminals 1, 2 and 3, in addition to consolidating its rental car facility and making road improvements.

The project still requires more regulatory approval, including Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the US Federal Aviation Administration officials, in addition to more detailed environmental reviews, upon which the plan will return to the city council.

In April 2013, Delta Air Lines along with the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) revealed plans to invest | $229m to revamp the airport's Terminal 5.


Image: Work on the $4.8bn project at LAX is not expected to start for about five years. Photo: courtesy of Fallschirmjäger.