American Airlines Lays Final Beam In New LAX Terminal Structure

American Airlines has officially laid the final beam in the new LAX terminal structure. The beam was signed by American team members on the ground and is an important step in the process. The new Terminal 4 and 5 CORE structure will open in October 2022 and remains on time, despite the pandemic.

LAX Delta Air Lines and American Airlines
American operates a major hub at LAX and is involved in the modernization project of its busiest domestic terminals. Photo: Getty Images

Milestone

Today marks an important step in American’s multi-year constriction project at LAX. The airline has been involved in the modernization process and constructing the Terminal 4 and 5 CORE, a central structure that connects the terminals to security checkpoints, check-in areas, baggage claim, curbside area, and the new airside train system.

After starting construction in 2018, the final beam of the structure was laid down today. To mark this moment, American Airlines staff on the ground and executives from Los Angeles World Airports signed the beam before it was hoisted into its place. The video below shows the event and highlights American’s history at LAX.

In a statement, LAX Managing Director Rich Ashlin said,

“I’m excited to begin the next chapter as we move forward with the construction project and building out the Terminals 4 and 5 CORE. It’s great news for our team members and customers alike. We are building something that our customers will enjoy and we can be truly proud of. Looking forward past the pandemic, we have a laser focus on delivering a reimagined, premium experience for our customers.”

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New hub

American’s involvement in the construction project highlights its plans to create a modern hub at LAX. The airline operates exclusively in Terminal 4 and shares Terminal 5 will a few other carriers. However, T5, in particular, has struggled with overcrowding in the last few years, prompting airlines to take terminal swaps.

In 2017, Delta shifted all of its operations at LAX from T5 and 6 and T2 and 3, freeing up space in the terminal. American Airlines promptly took up this space, opening up an Admiral’s Club at the former site of a flagship Delta SkyClub. Moreover, the move resulted in lesser delays, crowding, and runway congestion.

American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N839AA
American and its subsidiaries are the exclusive operators out of T4. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In 2018, American joined hands with its partners to modernize the terminal experience. The changes will see a completely modernized T4, a unified 300,000sqft complex with 28 gates across T4/5, the new CORE area, and much more. Overall, the new structures will dramatically improve the passenger experience and reduce crowding in the future.

On time

American has repeatedly highlighted that the construction of the T4/5 remains on track for October 2022. With just over 18 months to go before opening, expect work to significantly ramp up in the coming months. While the pandemic has hurt aviation finances and slowed (or axed) new projects, the lower passenger traffic means construction will impact fewer passengers currently.

LAX Terminal 4
Passengers can say goodbye to T4’s aging terminal design by the end of next year. Photo: brewbooks via Flickr

The opening of the new terminal will also coincide with an aviation industry recovery. As vaccines rollout across the US and the globe, travel will likely bounce back by late 2022, with domestic flights recovering first.

Are you excited about the new LAX Terminal redesign? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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