American Airlines will invest more than $1.6 billion at Los Angeles International (LAX) over the next 15 years. The investment will go toward improving Terminals 4 and 5.
American signed a letter of intent, which sets the framework for negotiation of a new 15-year lease agreement and features airport improvement projects that would be made possible by the investment. The agreement also paves the way for American to receive additional gates as they continue to grow their operation and add destinations.
“This investment will not only improve the customer experience, but it will also give our employees a better place to work every day while allowing us to continue to grow in the marketplace,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “It’s an exciting time for the U.S. airline industry and for American in particular. Today, U.S. airlines are healthy and investing back into their businesses and the communities they serve. What we are doing here today is a great example of that.”
Several projects are slated to be funded by the investment over the next 7-10 years. They include a new vertical circulation core with connection to the landside Automated People Movers train system, unification of the passenger check-in and baggage claim areas, improvement of check-in facilities in T5, centralization of the T4 and T5 security screening checkpoint and connection of T4 and T5 on both the landside and airside of the building, including an above-ground connection extending from the T4/TBIT Connector to T5 on the airside.
LAWA said the improvements would essentially be made by tearing down the lobby areas of T4 and T5 one small section at a time and building a new, state-of-the-art facility, all while keeping the airport up and running.
“This is a substantial commitment on the part of American, and our board of airport commissioners will soon be reviewing the details of the new lease,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of LAWA. “I’m so pleased that American shares our excitement for the future of this great airport and wants to partner with us to achieve our vision to create a world-class airport.”