Terminal Vertical Cores

Terminal Vertical Cores are essentially new front doors to terminals at LAX that allow for vertical circulation of passengers with elevators and escalators, as well as direct connection to the Automated People Mover (APM) train system via elevated pedestrian bridges over World Way. LAX is building three cores – at Tom Bradley International Terminal, between Terminals 5 and 6 (Terminal 5.5) and at Terminal 7 – with $490 million of construction.

Work on these multi-level additions or new facilities began in the spring of 2019. In addition to providing vertical circulation and connection to the APM system, these cores also provide space that can be used for offices, baggage claims, restrooms, lounges, or other airport uses, as determined by LAX and its partners.

While LAWA is building thee of the cores, the remaining four are part of other terminal modernization projects. American Airlines is building a core between Terminals 4 and 5, two cores are being built at Terminals 2 and 3 as part of Delta Air Lines’ modernization, and Southwest Airlines has constructed the first core to open, located at the west end of Terminal 1. In total, seven cores will provide access from the terminals to the APM system.

The Tom Bradley core will connect to the West Central Terminal Area (CTA) station and is oriented for easy travel, with vertical conveyances connecting departures, arrivals, APM Levels and office spaces. Departing passengers will walk off the APM West CTA Station pedestrian walkway and be greeted by the iconic Tom Bradley bust in a three-story open atrium full of natural light.

From the pedestrian level passengers will have an elevated view of the ticketing level. Their view will orientate them to their surroundings and provide wayfinding, flight information and vertical conveyance. In the future, ticketing kiosks and self-service baggage drops will be available. Other customers who need to check in at the Tom Bradley ticket counters, will utilize the vertical circulation of the core to reach the ticket counters and use the self-service baggage drops.

The Tom Bradley core partially opened in late 2021, with domestic passengers arriving at the terminal using it to reach a new baggage claim carousel.

The Terminal 5.5 Core is the passenger connection point between the APM’s Center CTA station and Terminals 5 and 6. Arriving from the APM pedestrian walkway, guests are greeted with a double-height space when they enter the core and can take a ramp down to enter the security screening checkpoint at Terminal 6 or take the vertical circulation to either ticketing or arrivals to walk over to Terminal 5. The vertical core is oriented for easy wayfinding, with escalators and elevators to speed transit between the departures, arrivals, and APM levels.

The Terminal 7 core project will enhance the current vertical circulation and passenger flow between the APM’s East CTA station, Parking Structure 7, and Terminal 7. The primary scope of the work is to retrofit an existing exterior escalator and add a new interior escalator; both serving passenger flows from the Upper/Departures Level to the APM Level. With the exception of additional square footage at the escalator landing at the APM Level, no new area is being added to Terminal 7.

Austin Commercial, LP is constructing the Tom Bradley International, Terminal 5.5 and Terminal 7 cores, which were designed by AC Martin and Cannon Designs (formally GKK Works). The three cores LAWA is responsible for are slated to be complete in fall 2022. Both the Tom Bradley International and Terminal 5.5 core will be designed to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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