Terminal 1 Project Wraps Up On Time, On Budget, Without Lost-Time Injury

02/12/2019 10:22 AM

February 12, 2019

Charles H. Pannunzio
(424) 646-5260
The entrance to the former Terminal 1 ticketing lobby is seen at left, with the new entrance at right.

(Los Angeles, CA) When the ribbon was cut at the end of 2018, the $516 million overhaul of Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) came in on schedule and on budget, with no lost-time injuries over the four-year construction project that modernized the 34-year-old building.


“Building a world-class airport requires a team of committed partners, and with our Terminal 1 renovation we delivered what we envisioned ” said Deborah Flint, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “Thanks to the leadership of Southwest Airlines, Hensel Phelps, 35 subcontracted companies, and LAWA employees – the project was built safely, on-time, and on-budget. There is now an exceptional experience for the almost 10 million guests who travel through Terminal 1 annually.”


“We’re grateful for a long-standing partnership with LAWA that helped reshape Terminal 1 into a 21st-century venue for the world-famous Hospitality of the People of Southwest,” said Leah Koontz, a Southwest Vice President who serves the carrier as Executive Sponsor for Southern California. “As the airline that carries more people to, from, and within California than any other, we’ve invested in a curb-to-gate experience to enhance the journeys of hundreds of thousands of travelers in the Golden State.”

The mid-terminal dining area has changed dramatically, as seen the the before, at left, and after photos.

Terminal 1 opened in 1984, and was in need of modernization to accommodate the technology-rich environment of the post-9/11 world. The original design included a security screening checkpoint that sometimes backed up onto the sidewalk outside the building, and entry doors that were too close to the main airport entrance, which could create a bottleneck in a location that much of the traffic coming into LAX must pass. The modernization project moved the doors further west, reducing the impact on the traffic flow and creating a smoother guest experience.


Other key features of the Terminal 1 modernization project include: 

  • Achieved CALGreen Tier 1 status.
  • Installed more water-bottle filling stations than any other terminal on campus.
  • Installed a post-screening pet relief room and adult changing station.
  • Expanded restroom capacity post-screening with three additional restrooms.
  • Created a one-of-a-kind art display case post security.
  • Completely revamped and expanded the food court, including the addition of large windows that look onto the airfield, and created new concessions throughout.
  • Re-oriented Southwest’s ticketing lobby to the west side of the terminal to mitigate traffic in the terminal loop.
  • Increased security screening checkpoint capacity to 12 lanes from eight.
  • Increased building footprint by nearly 40,000 square feet.
  • Installed new passenger boarding bridges and apron paving throughout, and reconfigured all striping to accommodate Boeing 737-800 and 737-MAX aircraft.

Hensel Phelps Construction served as the general contractor for the project, with major subcontractors including Morrow Meadows, Murray Mechanical, Critchfield Mechanical (CMI), Griffith Co., Performance Contracting Inc. (PC) and Cosco Fire Protection. PGAL was the architect, and AvAirPros served as the program manager. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) oversaw development of the new concession and retail program.

There were 2,219,398 man-hours worked without a lost-time injury. The project included workers from 19 trade unions and was built under the local Project Labor Agreement. A total of 4,163 workers were involved in the project between 2014 and 2018, including 1,303 local hires (31.3 percent).

The renovated terminal was officially dedicated in November 2018, during a ribbon-cutting event attended by Mayor Eric Garcetti, Southwest CEO Gary C. Kelly, URW U.S. President Jean-Marie Tritant, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners Vice President Val Velasco, actor Danny Trejo (owner of Trejo's Tacos) and Flint.

The gate area of the old Terminal 1 is seen at left in the photos above, with the new Terminal 1 at right.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

LAX, the fifth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.2 million tons of air cargo valued at over $101.4 billion. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.   

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues. 

LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named  a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to wego.com. LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.  

For more information about LAX, please visit   www.flyLAX.com or follow on Twitter   @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at   www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport, and on YouTube at   www.YouTube.com/laxairport1.  

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

The redesigned Terminal 1 food court features five restaurants to give guests a vareity of choices.

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