LAX begins reconstruction of Terminal 4 headhouse

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Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has begun the reconstruction of the eastern half of its 60-year-old Terminal 4 headhouse as part of a US$1.62bn modernization project at Terminals 4 and 5.

The Terminal 4 headhouse has been closed to the public in preparation for demolition. This portion of the building, which includes ticketing counters and baggage claim carousels for American Airlines, and an auxiliary checkpoint for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be reconstructed while the western half of the facility remains in operation.

Later in 2022, a new south concourse will be constructed inside Terminal 4, featuring additional space for hold rooms, concessions, restrooms and a bus gate that will serve both domestic and international flights. Improvements will also be made on the north concourse to increase the efficiency of passenger movements.

This project forms part of the airport’s ongoing US$15bn capital improvement program that will touch on all nine passenger terminals and build new facilities, including a consolidated Rent-A-Car facility and improved West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal. A groundbreaking event was held in late 2018, and work has been ongoing to realign the gates in Terminal 5 and construct a vertical core to connect Terminals 4 and 5 to the future Automated People Mover (APM) train’s West Central Terminal Area station.

To accommodate guests during this phase of the construction, additional counters have opened in the western portion of the ticketing lobby and curbside check-in also is being expanded. One lane has been added to the TSA checkpoint in Terminal 4 to assist with passenger screening. Those checking in at the Terminal 4 curbs for flights at the Tom Bradley International Terminal will be directed to clear TSA security at the checkpoint there. Arriving passengers will find their luggage on the baggage claim carousels in the former Federal Inspection Station (Customs) area during this phase of construction.

The work also requires changes to the location of shuttle stops on both the lower arrivals and upper departures levels as lane closures already in place at the eastern end of Terminal 4 have been extended further west. On the lower arrivals level, locations for shuttles to LAX-it, the LAX City Bus Center, LAX/Aviation Metro Station and employee lots have shifted further west while FlyAway bus pickup is available at Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminal 5. The location of Rental Car and Shared-Ride Van pickup has also changed. On the upper departures level, pickup and drop-off for hotel and parking shuttles have moved to the western end of Terminal 5. Passenger pickup and drop-off are available in the south area between Tom Bradley and Terminal 4.

Justin Erbacci, CEO of airport operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), said, “Every aspect of the LAX experience is being modernized and reimagined and the work progressing now inside Terminals 4 and 5 will breathe additional new life into the airport’s facilities. We are grateful to our partners at American Airlines for their close coordination as we move our guests efficiently and continue the LAX modernization in time for the 2028 Olympic Games.”

Kirk Hotelling, vice president of corporate real estate at American Airlines, said, “American Airlines is building a terminal for tomorrow, a substantial multi-year commitment to modernize our hub at LAX. When complete, the upgraded facility will create an entirely reimagined customer experience from end-to-end with a reconfigured ticketing area, more efficient security checkpoints, upgraded gate area amenities, state-of-the-art finishes and expanded retail and dining options.”

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