West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal (2021)
The $1.7 billion West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal, a 15-gate concourse, is among the most modern in the world. Having opened to the public in May 2021, it features cutting-edge technology, stunning architecture, a checked-bag storage system, biometric boarding gates and the latest amenities for travelers to experience.
This five-level, 750,000-square-foot facility serves both international and domestic flights. At nearly 1,700 feet in length, the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal is located just west of the world-famous international terminal and was completed over the course of four-and-a-half years.
The West Gates at Tom Bradley is designed around a modern, digitally-based travel experience and offer numerous comfortable seating options, with thousands of places to plug in, while accessing next-generation wireless internet, touchscreen kiosks and the most advanced baggage handling and boarding systems of any airport in the United States today.
The roof of the West Gates at Tom Bradley emulates a swell in the ocean that is the formation of the next wave to arrive. This complements the architectural design of the Tom Bradley International Terminal roof to the east, which represents an ocean wave breaking onto the shore. The curved roofline also enhances the spaces contained within the building, with the architectural design allowing for great views and natural daylight in public spaces.
The building is divided into several neighborhoods that each include aircraft gates, a restroom core, as well as retail and concession spaces that will open throughout 2022. The interior finishes and colors were selected to reflect the facility's location and are based on the urban fabric of Los Angeles. The main core of the building is considered the "downtown" area due to the high ceilings and elevator towers. Colorful mosaic tiles pay homage to the mid-century modern design of LAX, with colors changing to denote the different neighborhoods from the desert to the sea.
The West Gates at Tom Bradley features many passenger amenities, including two nursing rooms, a service-animal relief area, art exhibitions, a quiet room and three children's play areas.
Additional features include:
- Electronic self-boarding gates with biometric photo match capabilities at all 15 gates.
- Wi-Fi 6, which is almost three times as fast as older Wi-Fi infrastructure
- Improved reception for cell phones, including 5G speeds
- A total of 14 interactive kiosks provide access to a wide variety of airport information, including flight status, ground transportation options, wayfinding maps, and other guest amenities such as concessions
- Nearly 60,000 square feet of space for future airport lounges
- A robust arts program, with a number of new exhibitions and performance spaces to enhance the guest experience and complement the path passengers travel through the tunnel and inside the new building
The West Gates at Tom Bradley is accessible through a pedestrian tunnel from the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The tunnel originates at a new gateway facility connected to Tom Bradley near Gate 148 and includes moving walkways and 24 100-inch video screens along with courtesy passenger shuttles. The northern portion of the tunnel provides two-way traffic for outbound passengers as well as arriving guests on domestic flights or those who have been pre-cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at their departure point. The south half of the tunnel provides a secure route to the CBP's Federal Inspection Station at Tom Bradley International Terminal. The West Gates at Tom Bradley are also accessible by airfield buses, with ramp-level bus ports near the center and north end of the building.
The West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal includes a ramp tower where LAX Operations staff control aircraft surface movements in the area between Tom Bradley International Terminal and the West Gates, acting as a complement to the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) control tower.
A $261 million Baggage Optimization Project completed at the same time as the West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal adds capacity and new levels of service for guests. The new baggage handling system, designed and built by Vanderlande, includes approximately seven miles of conveyors, making it the largest outbound individual carrier system in the country, capable of moving up to 6,400 bags per hour.
LAX is the first U.S. airport with an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), using technology which is usually associated with warehousing and distribution. Every bag destined for the West Gates at Tom Bradley is automatically loaded into a special plastic tray or "carrier" at the Tom Bradley International Terminal and conveyed through an underground utility tunnel to its flight preparation area at the apron level. Bags that are checked in early for a flight, and stored for later retrieval, are directed to the ASRS, where they are stored until the flight time is closer. This means passengers will be able to check in bags earlier than ever before, with storage possible up to 24 hours in advance of a flight.
A total of 16 robotic cranes place and retrieve bags in more than 3,000 racking storage locations, which use radio-frequency tags to track bag locations within the system. The facility provides high-speed storage with full tracking and tracing of bags to prevent lost luggage.
With this system, LAX can house approximately 3,100 bags in early bag storage facilities, including 980 at the West Gates at Tom Bradley.
The facility is also a model of sustainability, earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and meets the requirements of CAL Green Tier 1. Specific sustainability achievements include:
- "Cool" roofing and paving materials that reduce heat absorption
- The project reduces electricity consumption by 29 percent through a combination of incorporating daylighting, insulated glass, efficient HVAC and smart interior lighting design systems
- Reduction of 41 percent in water consumption, led by the installation of water-saving plumbing fixtures
- Use of more than 24-percent recycled content in the building and a gray water piping system for future connection
- The project has diverted an estimated 95 percent of its construction waste from landfills
The joint venture of Turner-PCL served as the contractor for the project, with Corgan and Gensler serving as architects.