American approved to begin redevelopment at LAX

Los Angeles International airport (LAX) operator has approved a new lease with American Airlines that allows the airline to move forward with the first of $1.6 billion in planned works, the company said.

American can move forward with construction of a new “terminal 4.5” core that will connect both terminals 4 and 5 at LAX with the planned automated people mover, following approval by the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) board of commissioners on 11 July. The $285 million initial works also include the reconfiguration of gates on terminal 5 to add two more gates, and ticket counter and baggage claim areas.

The works approved are only the first of a larger $1.6 billion, 15-year improvement plan for terminals 4 and 5 that American and LAX agreed to in 2017. Major aspects of that programme include the consolidated security checkpoint, a consolidated check-in area for the airline and other concourse improvements.

American will have preferential use of 19 gates, the same number that it has today, initially under the new lease, the LAWA presentation to the board shows. That could increase to 28, including up to four in the Tom Bradley International Terminal and up to five more in terminal 5, in the future if certain criteria are met and new gates open to accommodate other carriers.

The lease also requires American to vacate the remote regional concourse that it uses by 2024.

While American plans to invest $1.6 billion in terminals 4 and 5 at LAX, LAWA has budgeted $1.1 billion for its scope of the works, the presentation shows.