Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Delta Air Lines in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the new Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminals 2 and 3 centralized headhouse, part of a joint $2.3 billion project that will completely reimagine the current Delta-dedicated facilities, some of which dated back to 1961.
The headhouse, which is scheduled to open to the public next month, is the first in a series of phased openings for Terminals 2 and 3 that will later include a new Terminal 3 concourse, and in 2023, a post-security connection to the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The entire project was originally scheduled to complete in 2024, but the schedule was accelerated by 18 months as the project team was able to find construction efficiencies during the global pandemic. Once complete, guests will be treated to a state-of-the-art terminal that modernizes the passenger journey, providing a more efficient and seamless experience from the moment guests arrive.
"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," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "This facility is just the latest milestone in our work to completely reimagine 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."
The new headhouse, which is part of a multi-year terminal transformation project and in its end-state will feature a consolidated 27-gate complex, will open to the public on April 20. Departing passengers will enter through the new facility that consolidates locations for ticketing and check-in, security screening, and baggage claim. The four-level, 770,000 square foot building is the latest project to open as part of LAX's $15-billion modernization program.
"By modernizing our airport and making the travel experience more comfortable, LAX will continue to be an economic anchor for the region," said Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who chairs the Los Angeles City Council's Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. "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."
As LAWA continues to be a national leader in workforce development and inclusivity, the building of the headhouse has had a major economic impact in the local construction industry and beyond. To date, workers on the project have earned more than $228 million in wages, with nearly 30% of the workforce coming from the local community. Five graduates of the nationally recognized HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program also have worked on the project.
Our shared commitment with Delta Air Lines to create opportunities in our local community has resulted in hundreds of jobs for workers on our construction teams who have put in nearly a million work hours to efficiently deliver this state-of-the-art headhouse," said Beatrice Hsu, Board of Airport Commissioners President. "We are grateful to all of our partners who have helped us realize this next step in the overall transformation of our airport."
The new Terminal 2/3 headhouse was designed around a modern, comfortable and seamless travel experience. Guests are greeted by a 250-foot LED dynamic display behind ticket counters. In partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), qualifying customers on Delta Air Lines can check bags completely hands-free through the use of their digital identity. An expanded security checkpoint that will feature 14 lanes will allow passengers to move more quickly and smoothly through the screening process.
"Over a decade ago, we committed to becoming the premier airline of Los Angeles. Today, we are celebrating a huge milestone in making the Delta Sky Way project dream a reality," said Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines. "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. This terminal unveiling is just one example of our many critical infrastructure investments totaling more than $12 billion across the country. From coast to coast, customers will choose Delta for leading with innovation to build the airports of the future."
The overall project will create a unified, efficient connection hub for Delta Air Lines and additional airline partners with walkable airside connections between Terminals 2 and 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. It also will also complete the long-awaited connectivity post-security as passengers will be able to traverse the length of the airport from Terminal 1 to Terminal 8 without having to go through a secondary screening process.
Two connections to the future Automated People Mover and Central Terminal Area parking garages provide efficient and flexible ground transportation options.
"The modernization of the Terminals 2 and 3 headhouse is 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," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. "We are very excited about this latest collaboration with Delta Air Lines that will provide passengers with an amazing new front door to Terminals 2 and 3."
The building was designed to help meet LAWA's sustainability goal to eliminate carbon emissions from its facilities. In addition, the terminal has a wide array of sustainability features, which include low-flow plumbing fixtures that will eventually use 100 percent non-potable water supplied by recycled water. Low energy-emitting materials were used in the design of the indoor spaces, which improve indoor air quality, and a "cool roof" was designed to reduce the heat-island effect and keep air conditioning use low. The project also includes recycled materials that were regionally sourced, and recycled 75 percent of its construction waste. All of the building's systems, including structural, façade, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and lighting were designed to meet CalGreen 2016 and is targeting a LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
"Every milestone in the modernization of LAX demonstrates what can happen when we work together," said Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose District 11 includes LAX. "We settled the long-standing dispute between neighbors and LAWA to make progress like this possible, and I'm thrilled that the new headway will elevate the passenger experience while achieving the ambitious sustainability goals we have set for our airport."
"The completion of the Terminal 2 and 3 headhouse as a building that lives up to the progressive environmental standards at LAX is the result of the strong partnership that Delta Air Lines, Los Angeles World Airports and Hensel Phelps forged during truly extraordinary times," said Damian Buessing, Vice President and Southern California District Manager, Hensel Phelps. "Delivering a modernized building while working through a global pandemic was possible because our stakeholders came together with the common goal of making this headhouse a stand-out project that our partners, passengers and the city as a whole could all be proud of."
As part of LAWA's ongoing commitment to elevating the passenger experience, four visual art displays will be installed on the arrivals and departures levels of the terminal. Passengers will have the opportunity to see and appreciate large-scale paintings and prints including an artwork generously donated by Fox Studios.