On the crest of a WAVE

A cleverly designed enclosure system ensures the new West Gates fits seamlessly with LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, explains Walter P Moore’s Lori Lee

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has served as an international hub for air traffic since 1928. More than 88 million passengers passed through LAX in 2019, making it the third busiest airport in the world prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.In recent months, the number of passengers has slowly inched back towards pre-pandemic levels, as travel restrictions have been eased and the general public has become more comfortable with flying once again. Over time, the number of passengers that walk LAX’s concourses is expected to steadily increase beyond that benchmark of 88 million, especially during the next few years, as the city of Los Angeles prepares to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.

In preparation for the expected increase in passengers – and to meet the needs of airport users – LAX continues to modernise and expand, having undertaken a $14.5bn capital improvement programme that will last through 2023. Spearheaded by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) – the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates LAX and Van Nuys Airport, one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world – the multi-billion-dollar modernisation programme involves a range of projects. Among them are the new passenger and baggage processing facilities in the Central Terminal Area, upgraded ground transportation access, a consolidated rental car facility, new taxiways to accommodate larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-8 and Airbus A380, and the new West Gates at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT).

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