One of America’s busiest airports in undergoing a major face-lift. The Westfield Corporation, a retail development corporation with offices in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, is spearheading the redevelopment of Los Angeles International Airport, a.k.a LAX, that is expected to cost billions.
But such an expensive undertaking is needed. In 2016, LAX saw more than 80 million passengers come through its gates. That represents an increase of 18-and-a-half million passengers from the year before. It is expected 83 million people will use the airport in 2017, and by 2040, LAX could serve 100 million passengers a year.
Some parts of the redevelopment project have already been done, like the opening of the Tom Bradley International Terminal in 2013 and the upgrades of Terminals 2, 5, and 6. The Tom Bradley Terminal and Terminal 4 are also linked via a new connector.
One of the biggest projects on the horizon for Westfield and LAX is the new Midfield Satellite Concourse, which will cost an estimated $1.6 billion. Connected to the Tom Bradley Terminal by an underground walkway, the five level concourse will have 12 new gates to cut down on passenger transit times to their flights. In order to make getting around the concourse easier, display screens will have scanners to provide passengers with personalized maps on their boarding passes. For added service, 44,000 square feet of food and retail space is planned, the former featuring a variety of L.A.-centric food and drink.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Westfield Vice President for LAX Keith Kaplan, said, “Los Angeles World Airports has a strong vision. They wanted more than a concession refresh. They wanted to transform the passenger journey. Thanks to our long term partnership, everybody wins. The city of Los Angeles, the airport, the airlines, and the customers.”
One of Westfield’s Chief Executives, Peter Lowy, was also quoted saying “We are fully committed to bringing our global resources and development expertise to deliver an iconic, world-class airport experience.”
Sustainability has also been taken into account, as the Midfield Satellite Concourse is designed to take advantage of natural lighting as much as possible, reduce the heat from roofs and pavements, and use recycled materials.
In all, there are 50 different improvement projects underway or in the works at LAX. The total cost for all of them is estimated at more than $14 billion.