Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is moving closer to adding a new concourse and terminal. The airport has completed its environmental review. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) will take up the proposed new concourse and terminal in a meeting on Tuesday, September 14th. The expansion will set the airport up to receive more air service and preparing to host the Olympics in 2028.
LAX moving closer to expansions
On Tuesday, the BOAC will consider the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the ongoing Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP) and plans to add new expansion. This includes the construction of a new Concourse 0.
Concourse 0 will extend out of the eastern side of Terminal 1. This concourse would contain 11 narrowbody aircraft gates. Nine of these are new gates, or net additions, to the airport’s gate availability.
Terminal 9 will be located to the east of Terminal 8. This new facility would include up to 12 widebody aircraft gates, 18 narrowbody gates, or a combination of both widebody and narrowbody gates that would land somewhere between the two numbers.
The addition of the new space will also help facilitate the removal and replacement of 15 of the 18 West Remote Gates. This would also lead to fewer busing operations on the airfield and boost efficiency. All of the new gates will be connected with upgraded taxiway space for smooth operations.
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Preparing to handle greater numbers of travelers
Various parts of LAX are under construction as airlines seek to modernize and revamp terminal spaces in favor of a more modern era in air travel with new concessions, more gates, upgraded taxiways to support the additional traffic, and more space inside the concourse for airlines to add premium facilities. A recent expansion included opening the new Midfield Satellite Concourse west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).
According to the report, another consideration was the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games that will be held in Los Angeles. The report states that the “nature and timing of these improvements are integral” to preparing for the event.
However, even excluding the 2028 Olympics, the airport needs the expanded space to support passenger levels that will organically grow. Los Angeles is expected to be a top leisure and business destination in addition to being a major origination market without large alternative area airports.
Who will get the new space?
No one has been highlighted to take the new spaces. However, there is likely to be plenty of competition over who can get the space. Concourse 0, which is an extension off Terminal 1, has one airline that could be in the lead for the gates: Southwest Airlines.
Southwest’s LAX hub is centered around Terminal 1, but the terminal is running out of space. The new Concourse 0 could be a huge boon for Southwest, which has room to grow at LAX and only flies narrowbody aircraft.
The new Terminal 9 will certainly have plenty of appeal to many airlines. Depending on the layout of the new Terminal 9, and if it is connected to Terminal 8, it could draw the interest of United and its partners to build a little Star Alliance hub in Terminals 7, 8, and 9.
The other question is about American’s regional terminal, located to the east of Terminal 8. If that regional terminal is demolished, American Airlines could push JetBlue to move to Terminal 9, so American can consolidate its hub in Terminal 4 and 5.
Ultimately, there is plenty of use for the space to streamline terminal occupancy and bring the airport up to standards ahead of the 2028 Olympics, which are expected to draw heavy crowds, on top of the expected traffic growth at LAX over the next few years.
Do you think LAX should construct the new Concourse 0 and Terminal 9? Let us know in the comments!