The Project

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the nation’s third busiest airport in annual passengers and the third busiest in annual aircraft operations. Although it has functioned as an airport since 1928, the main terminal complex at LAX was constructed in 1961. In order to continue to meet the needs of travelers and airlines in the 21st century, facilities at LAX must be continually upgraded and maintained. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has embarked upon a multi-billion dollar modernization program at LAX designed to provide improved, state-of-the-art facilities for travelers. The Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) Program is part of these improvements.

The MSC Program includes a new passenger concourse facility approved as part of the LAX Master Plan in 2004. The MSC facility would be located in the central area of the airfield, west of Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The MSC Program also includes a Central Terminal Processor, conveyance systems for passengers and baggage, and new taxiways/taxilanes and airport aprons. The MSC Program will permit greater flexibility in scheduling improvements at other facilities without disrupting day-to-day airline operations, reduce reliance on remote gates, and ensure a high level of service for LAX passengers during modernization upgrades, which may at times require the closure of existing gates. The MSC gates will not increase the total number of passengers or aircraft at LAX, but they will ensure that uninterrupted operations and schedules can be maintained during construction at other terminals.

Due to the size and scale of the MSC Program, LAWA proposes to develop the MSC Program in independent phases. Phase 1 ("MSC North Project") of the MSC Program is the construction of the northern portion of the multi-story MSC facility and associated improvements. The MSC North Project is intended to improve the terminal operations, concessions facilities, and overall passenger experience at LAX. The facility would be designed to serve both domestic and international traffic. The MSC North Project would provide LAWA with the flexibility to accommodate demand for aircraft gates while modernizing other terminals at LAX and reduce reliance on the West Remote gates.

The MSC North Project will comply with all elements of the Stipulated Settlement including jobs, construction practices, training, outreach activities, and limits on the total number of passenger gates and total annual passengers at LAX.

The MSC is being built in compliance with a number of local, state and federal regulations. (click to expand)

LAX Master Plan

The LAX Master Plan, approved by the City of Los Angeles City Council in December 2004, is the strategic framework for future development at LAX. The LAX Master Plan includes the development of the “West Satellite Concourse,” which has been renamed the Midfield Satellite Concourse or MSC. The overall MSC Program, as documented in the LAX Master Plan, includes the following facilities:
  • A Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC);
  • A new Central Terminal Processor (CTP) in the Central Terminal Area (CTA);
  • A connector/conveyance system between the MSC and the CTP; and
  • Construction of new taxiways/taxilanes, apron areas, and utilities to service the MSC.

Federal Aviation Administration

In 2005, the FAA issued a Record of Decision on the LAX Master Plan EIS. This included environmental approval of the construction and operation of the MSC as depicted on the Airport Layout Plan approved as part of the FAA’s actions on the EIS. Because the MSC Program has not substantively changed as documented and assessed in the Master Plan EIS, no additional NEPA analysis of the MSC North Project is required.

Environmental Laws

CEQA analysis of the MSC North Project is required to assess the specific effects of constructing and operating the MSC North facility, which is separate and independent of the later phase or phases of the MSC Program. This first phase of the MSC Program serves a unique and independent function, and it can occur even if there is no future phase(s) of the MSC Program, since it is not dependent upon the later phase(s) of the MSC Program or vice versa. The MSC Program will continue to be examined at a programmatic level, focusing on any updates to the MSC Program from that assessed in the LAX Master Plan EIS/EIR.

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