LAX celebrates opening of new-look Terminal 1


Cutting the ribbon at the the official opening of the new Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 1 were: Jean-Marie Tritant, President, URW Airports; Danny Trejo, actor; Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti; Gary Kelly, CEO, Southwest Airlines; Deborah Flint, CEO, Los Angeles World Airports; and Val Velasco, Vice President, Board of Airport Commissioners.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Southwest Airlines have unveiled the new-look Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminal 1, following a $516.7 million curb-to-gate redevelopment.

The revamped 13-gate terminal boasts a new check-in area with self-service ticket kiosks, a nine-lane security checkpoint, refurbished arrival and baggage claim area, and exciting new dining and retail offerings with state-of-the-art design.

Completion of the Terminal 1 redevelopment comes as part of LAWA’s multibillion-dollar Capital Improvement Program, considered the largest public works programme in the history of the City of Los Angeles.

“Los Angeles is a city of dreamers and doers, and the reimagined Terminal 1 reflects the creativity at the heart of our city,” said Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti. “Working together with Southwest Airlines and our partners, what we have created is more than a terminal that connects passengers to flights – it’s a destination in its own right.”

The four-year $516.7 million project has completely refreshed the terminal, which was initially constructed in the early 1980s in advance of the 1984 Olympic Games. The project was completed with minimal impact to the customer service and flight operations, keeping approximately 10 million customers moving through the facility each year of the redevelopment.

Deborah Flint, CEO, LAWA, said: “The new Terminal 1 reflects Los Angeles World Airports’ commitment to creating exceptional facilities and experiences for our guests. The T1 modernisation has been a phenomenal effort by all partners at LAWA, Southwest, and URW Airports, and the results raise the bar for what guests can expect when they come to LAX.”

A major goal of the T1 project was to eliminate lines that created bottlenecks in ticket desks, security, and at shops and restaurants in the cramped gate areas. Following the revamp, the terminal now runs efficiently with new self-service check-in stations, the repositioned security checkpoint and additional retail and dining offerings post-security.

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, also commented: “Southwest carries more California travellers to, from and within the Golden State every day than any other airline and is scheduled to offer a record 800 departures a day from California next summer. This redeveloped Terminal 1 facility at LAX will host many of those customers and is the perfect venue for our award-winning people to showcase their world-famous hospitality.”

Furthermore, Southwest worked with LAX partner URW Airports, the terminal commercial manager, on a new and expanded dining and retail approach that includes popular local brands Urth Caffé, Trejo’s Tacos and Cassell’s Hamburgers, among others. With 22 dining and retail destinations comprising 23,543 square feet, the new offerings introduce 13 brands new to LAX and eight that are making their airport debut.

Additional improvements at Terminal 1 include renovation of airline support office space; modernised aircraft parking/apron pavement and modernised hydrant fuelling system; improvements to the building facade; a new roof; and relocation of the main terminal entrances to ease traffic congestion.

The Terminal 1 renovation is part of an overall LAX modernisation programme, which includes the integration of an automated people mover, expected to be completed by 2030. Moreover, the modernisation plan is expected to ultimately create more than 121,000 construction-related jobs.