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(Los Angeles, California – April 4, 2010)  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa and officials of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Alaska Airlines announced a $271-million renovation of Terminal 6 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).  The renovation is part of a settlement agreement approved today by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners between Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Alaska Airlines, Inc. with regard to a lawsuit pending in the United States Department of Transportation in Alaska Airlines, Inc., et al., v. Los Angeles World Airports, et al. regarding terminal charges. 

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Alaska Airlines, Inc. agreed to dismiss its claims in the litigation and LAWA and Alaska would enter into a 10-year lease agreement for Terminal 6.   The lease agreement was also approved by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today.  The settlement is contingent upon approval of the lease agreement by the Los Angeles City Council. 

“This is another milestone as we modernize LAX to improve service, safety and efficiency for the traveling public,” said Mayor Villaraigosa.  “It’s also a boon to the local economy as nearly 700 jobs, as well as numerous construction related material purchases, are created by this project.”

The project’s new facilities and state-of-the-art technology are designed to improve efficiency and save passengers time by merging Alaska’s domestic and international operations into a single terminal and by eliminating queues at airline check-in and checked-baggage inspection.  The project also includes features to improve passenger comfort and convenience, such as spacious boarding gates, a new airline club lounge, and new lighting and signage.

Karen Gruen, Alaska Airlines’ managing director of corporate real estate, said, “Our modern Airport of the Future facility will improve efficiency and greatly enhance our customers’ experience at LAX.”  He added, “And our new location at Terminal 6 will provide faster and more convenient connections for our customers on Mexico flights and for those arriving or departing on code-share flights serviced by our partner Delta Air Lines.”

LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said, “This is a big step forward in the overall modernization of LAX because Alaska Airlines is partnering with us to provide much needed upgrades to the level of service and convenience for not only our international, but also for our domestic travelers.”

The project will provide travelers with Alaska’s “Airport of the Future” ticketing/check-in lobby with customer-friendly islands of check-in kiosks and bag check stations.  A new in-line, checked-baggage inspection system will eliminate passengers standing in line while federal security personnel screen their luggage.  Additional passenger security screening checkpoints will help streamline and speed up the inspection process.  Along with a new airline club lounge, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility at Terminal 6 will be modernized to accommodate Alaska’s international passengers, who currently process through federal inspection at other terminals.

Alaska also is installing a Central Service Counter and “Gate of the Future,” which will include spacious passenger waiting areas and new state-of-the-art gate information displays, as well as specialty lighting, finishes and other architectural elements selected by the airline.       

The checked-baggage screening project element includes baggage conveyor components; building modifications; telecommunications infrastructure; state-of-the-art, explosive-detection machines; specialized resolution and screening rooms; and design of hardware and software essential to the inspection system. The $271-million total project cost will be funded using $18.6 million in Alaska Airlines invested capital for the airline’s proprietary improvements (club room, specialty lighting, finishes or other architectural elements, etc.); $156.5 million in LAWA commercial paper/long-term debt; and $95.9 million combined from LAWA cash, Passenger Facility Charges, and TSA reimbursements.  The latter two sums cover improvements that are useable by any airline operating in Terminal 6.  NO funds from Los Angeles City’s general fund will be used.  

Construction in Terminal 6 will be phased in order to minimize disruptions to passengers and terminal operations.  Alaska Airlines began construction preparation work last year and the project is expected to be completed by summer 2012, at which time Alaska and Horizon Air operations will move from their existing location at Terminal 3 to Terminal 6. 

The project will incorporate sustainable building practices in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Artist renderings of the Terminal 6 modernization project can be viewed at www.alaskaair.com.

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