LAX Prepares for Massive Move

May 12, 2017

Long Beach, Calif. -- Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is in the final stages of the largest airline terminal relocation in the history of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), scheduled to begin on May 12.

Trevor Daley, deputy executive director and chief of external affairs for LAWA, spoke at a seminar held at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) 89th annual conference here May 7. Between May 12 and May 16, one-third of the airport’s 70 airline partners will relocate, many of them to new terminals and others to new ticket counters in their current terminals. Each airline will complete its relocation overnight and resume operations in their new location the following morning.

There’s a lot going on at LAX, with long days, said Daley. “[LAWA] CEO Deborah Flint comes in early and stays late, so we all do,” he said.

LAX’s numbers are skyrocketing, making it number two in the United States and number four in the world, serving 22.8 million passengers and handling 2.2 million tons of cargo in 2016, said Daley. “We’re forecast to serve 100 million passengers by 2040,” he said. “Our last big renovation was in 1984, and the mayor and the LAWA board are pushing us to get things done at LAX by 2024 for the Olympics.”

In the past few weeks, the media team has been getting the word out about the largest terminal move in the airport’s history, said Daley. “A bit part of that is Delta Air Lines moving from the south side to the north side of the airport,” he said. “It’s made us all anxious and nervous.”

LAWA has done lots of press on the move, said Daley. “We did a big press conference with our CEO, the mayor and Delta. We’ve also increased our radio buys by 50 percent,” he said, also citing the website. “Radio spots are being played all through Southern California because we want to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. Passengers don’t always read messages or check the website.”

The move is part of a $14 billion capital improvement program that’s expected to be completed in 2023, said Daley. “It’s the largest renovation we've ever done.”

The Tom Bradley International Terminal, completed in 2013, is the best part of LAX, said Daley. “We did a groundbreaking for the Midfield Concourse in February, and that will connect to TBIT via a tunnel. It’s scheduled to open in 2019,” he said.

Southwest Airlines has invested $508 million in Terminal 2, which is 60 percent done, said Daley. “United Airlines spent $573 million and is 70 percent done with its renovations on Terminals 7 and 8. It will be completed in 2018,” he said.

Moving on May 12-13 are: Allegiant, Frontier and Sun Country (from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5), Boutique Air and Virgin America (from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6), and Virgin Australia (moving from Terminal 3 to TBIT (passengers bused from T2 to TBIT for check in, with flights continuing to depart from TBIT). Volaris will move its aircraft from Terminal 2 to TBIT. Check-in will continue at Terminal 2 and passengers will access their flights via post-security bus service to TBIT.

Moving on May 14-15 are: Avianca and Interjet (from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 for check-in, with passengers walking to TBIT to catch their flights) and Spirit (from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5).

Moving on May 16-17 are: Air Canada (from Terminal 2 to Terminal 6), Hawaiian (from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5) and JetBlue (from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5). The final change will be XL France, which will move from Terminal 2 to Terminal 6 when it resumes seasonal service on June 4.