LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with officials from the city, Los Angeles International Airport and Delta Air Lines today for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate a new centralized headhouse at Terminals 2 and 3 -- part of a $2.3 billion modernization of the facilities.
``LAX is a central pillar of our economic strength, and our ability to bounce back so strongly from the pandemic is largely tied to direct investments we've made to help realize its full potential,'' Garcetti said.
``This facility is just the latest milestone in our work to completely re-imagine this airport -- joining a long list of recently completed projects that are transforming the passenger experience and turning LAX into one of the premier airports in the world,'' he added.
The updated facilities will officially open to the public on April 20 and are part of a wider $15 billion modernization of the airport. The improvements at Terminals 2 and 3 will offer consolidated locations for ticketing and check-in, security screening and baggage claim and also feature facial recognition technology that will allow passengers to check bags hands-free.
Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX, said the facilities unveiled Tuesday are the first of several improvements that will continue to be phased in -- ultimately leading to a post-security connection to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The project at Terminals 2 and 3 was originally scheduled to be completed in 2024 but was sped up by 18 months ``as the project team was able to find construction efficiencies during the global pandemic'' LAX said in a statement.
The new headhouse is a four-level, 770,000-square-foot facility.
``By modernizing our airport and making the travel experience more comfortable, LAX will continue to be an economic anchor for the region,'' City Councilman Joe Buscaino said. ``With tens of millions of people passing through our airport annually, and many international visitors expected for the Olympic Games in 2028, these improvements are vital to ensuring we can provide visitors the world-class experience they deserve.''
Justin Erbacci, chief executive officer of Los Angeles World Airports, called the headhouse project ``an outstanding example of how Los Angeles International Airport is transforming our facilities and adopting innovative solutions to make the passenger journey more efficient, secure and pleasant.''
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, called the project ``a huge milestone.''
``In partnership with LAWA and the city of Los Angeles, we've built a modern, state-of-the-art facility that will make travel through LAX a seamless and elevated experience,'' he said. ``This terminal unveiling is just one example of our many critical infrastructure investments totaling more than $12 billion across the country.''
The wider LAX overhaul encompasses all nine of the airport's terminals and also includes an ``automated people mover'' train system and a consolidated car-rental facility.
Last fall, Garcetti celebrated the opening of a $294 million, 1.7- million-square-foot economy parking facility with 4,300 new parking spots.
Other recent improvements include a $477.5 million, 283,000-square- foot extension of Terminal 1 and the opening of the West Gates of the Tom Bradley Terminal -- a $1.73 billion project that added 15 gates and 750,000 square feet just west of the Bradley terminal.