Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined city leaders and airport officials on Tuesday to mark the beginning of a $508 million facelift for the terminal that houses Southwest Airlines at Los Angeles International Airport.
The upgrades to Terminal 1 includes two dozen new restaurants and shops, and an expanded, 12-lane security checkpoint area.
Southwest Airlines passengers will have roomier waiting areas and bigger restrooms, and the baggage inspection and sorting area will become fully automated.
The project also calls for replacing the roof and the passenger boarding bridges, and making seismic upgrades. Aircraft parking areas and the hydrant fueling system will also be replaced.
The ticketing lobby and main entrances will be moved west to help improve the flow of passenger drop-off and pick-up.
The renovations are slated to be completed in phases between 2015 and 2018.
“The Terminal 1 improvement project will bring a better passenger experience and 1,500 construction jobs to LAX,” Garcetti said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “As part of our $7 billion investment in LAX, we’re remodeling every terminal and creating 40,000 jobs because Los Angeles deserves a world-class airport.”
Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said the project — a “partnership” with Southwest Airlines, the terminal’s only tenant — “will create the world-class experience we want for all LAX passengers.”
Bob Montgomery, vice president of airport affairs at Southwest Airlines, said the renovation “will allow us to better serve our customers today, as well as provide the opportunity to expand our network options alongside any growth in customer demand.”
Dallas-based Southwest serviced 7.4 million passengers at LAX last year, and was the fourth-busiest carrier at the airport. The airline will be able to use 13 of its bigger Boeing 737-800 series aircraft at the airport following the renovations.