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LAX Debuts New Airside Link as Transformation Continues

LAX announces complete airside connection and improved ground transportation

An American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner on approach to Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Los Angeles International Airport, famously known as LAX, is an iconic symbol of aviation understood across the globe. Built in 1928, the airport has seen almost a century of change. From the pioneer days of aviation to the eras of luxury liners caressing the skies, the airport has been a hub for those connecting to go across the globe.

In the past 15 years alone, the airport has seen close to 1 billion passengers traverse through. The annual number of passengers traveling into and out of the airport is continuing to increase and is expected to rapidly with Los Angeles hosting the 2028 Summer Olympic Games. To keep up with demand, the airport has continued to expand and build on what has previously been. 

This past Wednesday, the airport completed the opening of the airside connector from Terminal 3 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). This represents the first time in the airport’s almost century of existence that all terminals will be physically connected airside or post-security. Prior to the walkway opening, passengers were required to use a shuttle bus that ran airside to connect between Terminal 3 and TBIT.

The connection now allows passengers to walk the entire two-mile journey from Terminal 1 to Terminal 8. Passengers now have the opportunity to utilize restaurants, lounges and shops in other terminals without having to exit and re-enter the sterile area.

Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer for Los Angeles World Airports, believes that this is just one of many future improvements for the airport positively impacting travelers, saying, “This is just one vital update in a collection of many that are making travel at LAX efficient, dependable and user-friendly.”

An Improved Experience

In recent years, the airport opened a new economy parking facility offering 4,300 additional parking spaces for travelers originating out of LAX. Coming in 2024, the Automated People Mover (APM) is being implemented to reduce ground congestion landside of the terminals.

Costing $2 billion, the APM will pick up passengers at three locations central to the outlying terminals connecting them to the parking facility recently built along with the metro connection station and consolidated rental car facility. The APM will have a varying schedule operating 24 hours, however, will have trains leaving every two minutes between 9 A.M. and 11 P.M. Tracks will accommodate the movement of up to nine trains simultaneously. 

Currently, the airport does not have a direct train service from the city. Current travelers who use the metro system to get to the airport must take the train to a station nearby and then transfer to a bus which is subject to traffic and road congestion.

The APM will allow passengers to transfer directly from the metro to the train directly to one of the three terminal stops. Thus eliminating the need to use the bus service on the busy roadway.  The consolidated rental car facility will also give passengers the opportunity to take the train without having to wait for company-specific busses to reach the provider’s off-airport location. 

All of these improvements are a part of the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP). The entire $5.5 billion project will be completed and ready for use in 2024, well before the city hosts the 2028 Olympic Games.

Zach Cooke

Author

  • Zach Cooke

    Zach’s love for aviation began when he was in elementary school with a flight sim and model planes. This passion for being in the air only intensified throughout high school when he earned his Private Pilot Certificate. He then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his certificates and ratings to later flight instruct and share his passion for aviation with others. He now resides in the North East living out his dream as an airline pilot.

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