Since its beginning as a single airstrip and lone building at the dawning of commercial aviation, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has continually expanded and modernized to meet the growing needs of an ever-changing aviation industry and the people they serve as the gateway to Los Angeles, California, and America.
While some changes over the years have been incremental… others have been revolutionary. Such is the case with the current changes to the 5th busiest airport in the world.
Years in the planning, development, and execution, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the organization responsible for managing the airport, has meticulously gathered the current and future needs and desires of all those they serve, key stakeholders such as airline operators, vendors, government agencies and the public, to prepare LAX to successfully serve them long into the future.
Selbert Perkins Design is honored to be a part of the massive evolution of this esteemed Gateway to America, as well as a trusted advisor and partner to LAWA for over 25 years in their goal of continually improving the passenger experience.
Some of the key innovations include:
Automated People Mover (APM)
Ask anyone, airlines and passengers alike, about their experience with LAX. You would most likely hear about the difficulty people have in getting to the airport and easily and quickly finding their way to their destination.
The APM is a 2.25-mile electric train system comprising six stations, connecting airport terminals to each other, parking facilities, ConRAC, and public transportation via the LA Metro Crenshaw line.
When completed in 2023, travelers, along with their luggage, will be able to avoid the traffic, confusion, and frustration normally associated with large city airports, simply by jumping onto one of the 40 trains, with digital and traditional wayfinding, guiding them easily, quickly and safely to their desired destination.
Consolidated Rental Car Center (ConRAC)
Soon gone will be the days of frustratingly finding your way to and from disparate car rental facilities spread out over miles, embedded within a densely populated and busy area of Los Angeles.
Beginning in 2023, a new 6.4 million square foot facility will house over 18,000 cars, providing one consolidated ingress/egress area for all major car rental agencies, easy access to the 405 freeway, and connection to LAX terminals via the new APM.
Whether arriving in Los Angeles and needing easy and fast access to your rental car… or rushing to catch your flight, the new rental car center will fulfill those duties with ease, grace, and beauty.
Modernization of Terminals
More than a mere facelift, the current collection of passenger terminals is being rethought, reconfigured, and remodeled to enhance the passenger experience, provide amenities to air carriers, and provide a cohesive wayfinding and signage system throughout the entire airport, utilizing the wayfinding master plan designed by Selbert Perkins Design, ratified and adopted by LAWA.
Expansion of Terminals
Along with the much-needed modernization and reconfiguration of existing facilities, LAWA is constructing additional terminals to accommodate increases in flights now and in the future as part of this modernization of this storied airport.
Long gone are the days of navigating your way to and through the parking maze of Lot C. Created in its place is a completely reimagined and comprehensive system of central terminal area and economy parking facilities.
Complete with modern wayfinding, intelligent placement, and connection to terminals, this new parking system removes the stress of finding your parking spot and making your way quickly and easily to your gate.
Congratulations to LAWA for its long history of incremental and evolutionary modernization and expansion of LAX. SPD deeply values our longtime collaboration with Los Angeles World Airports, with the numerous project contributions we are making now… as well as those we have made along the way.
Images Courtesy of LAWA / Flight Path Museum