Delta, Los Angeles International Airport accelerate terminal transformation by 18 months

posted on 13th November 2020 by Eddie Saunders

Customers can now look forward to the all-new Los Angeles International Airport experience a full 18 months sooner than planned.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined leaders from Delta and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Thursday to announce the acceleration of the Delta Sky Way terminal modernization project  – a $1.86 billion project to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal that will now be ready in mid-2023.

The announcement came during a “topping out” ceremony Thursday as the final steel beam was secured to complete the central headhouse structure, where Delta’s consolidated check-in lobby, security checkpoint and bag claim facility will be located. 

“LAX is a central pillar of our economic strength — part of the connective tissue bringing our city to the rest of the world — and we remain focused on enhancing its infrastructure, strengthening our workforce, and transforming the traveler experience,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Even as we confront the immediate crisis of COVID-19, we are accelerating our work to devise a premier airport where visitors are greeted by reimagined terminals, workers land in good-paying jobs, and the city of the future truly takes off.”

Lower passenger volumes at LAX and throughout the U.S. are allowing for the temporary closure of Terminal 3 and the acceleration of the project, making it possible for the facility to open in mid-2023, instead of late 2024.

“If there’s a silver lining to fewer people flying right now, it’s that we have an opportunity and a team with the know-how to pull the future forward on infrastructure projects like Sky Way at LAX, which will deliver an exceptional experience much faster than planned for our customers and employees,” said Mark Pearson, Delta Vice President – Corporate Real Estate. “This is all possible thanks to the incredible support of LAWA, the City of Los Angeles and our construction partners who are aligned with our vision, and our employees who continue to be nimble in supporting customers throughout each phase of construction.”

Delta’s LAX central headhouse will open in the first quarter of 2022. The facility will also provide connectivity beyond security between Terminals 2 and 3, currently only possible via shuttle bus. The project will provide access to the LAX Automated People Mover, opening in 2023.

Sean Burton, President of Board of Airport Commissioners added: “By working in close partnership and cooperation with Delta Air Lines, Los Angeles World Airports is leveraging opportunities to create efficiencies and deliver this project ahead of schedule by more than a year. “We are grateful to Delta and all our partners who are helping us build world class facilities worthy of our great City.”

“As we reimagine Los Angeles International Airport, the modernization of Terminals 2 and 3 is an example of how we are realizing our goal to be one of the top international airports in the world by creating new facilities and passenger experiences that are modern, streamlined and built on a framework of advanced technology,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, LAWA. “The new headhouse will be a new front door for Delta Air Lines guests, creating a key linking point for the north terminals and providing easy access to the Automated People Mover train when it begins operations in 2023.”

When completed, the modern LAX facility will offer more security screening capacity, automated security lanes, more gate-area seating and Delta’s largest Delta Sky Club. This is in addition to all the amenities that Delta customers have come to expect at LAX, including the Delta ONE at LAX check-in space and a world-class concession program in partnership with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield Corporation.

Other key features and benefits include: 

  • A 27-gate complex on Terminals 2 and 3 with a secure connection to Tom Bradley International Terminal, enabling Delta and its global partners to effectively utilize gates in all terminals, while allowing customers to seamlessly traverse between each using convenient corridors, cutting down connecting times by up to 20 minutes
  • A new headhouse with centralized lobby, security screening checkpoint, baggage claim and Delta Sky Club
  • Reconstructed Terminal 3 concourse with new gates and a complete renovation of the 1960s-style satellite building. Terminal 3 will be larger, have more gate and seating space and feature premium retail and dining lineups
  • The largest Delta Sky Club found anywhere featuring an indoor/outdoor double bar, a year-round outdoor Sky Deck, premium showers and more
  • A revamped Delta One check-in experience to speed through check-in, enjoy expedited security lines and more
  • Convenient and contemporary restroom facilities
  • More access to at-seat power in gate areas
  • State-of-the-art finishes that provide a greater sense of space and comfort
  • Modern, intuitive signage
  • Connection to the Automated People Mover train, which is expected to be fully operational in 2023, connecting to the Intermodal Transportation Facility – West, Consolidated Rent-a-Car facility. and ultimately the LA Metro light rail, making it easier for customers to get from across LA to their airport terminal without getting into a car
  • Airfield efficiency, thanks to dual taxi lanes that allow for more streamlined movement of aircraft and on time arrivals

“We’ve built a robust domestic and international network out of Los Angeles that customers have quickly come to rely on,” said Scott Santoro – Delta Vice President – Sales. “We remain committed to offering the destinations and service customers have come to expect from Delta out of L.A. as the Sky Way project continues and our network is poised to be stronger than ever out of LAX as we recover from the pandemic.”

The Delta Sky Way project is part of the $14 billion LAX Modernization Program that will see LAX transformed in advance of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, of which Delta is the inaugural founding partner. It is being completed in partnership with LAWA and the City of Los Angeles, and is part of more than $12 billion in airport infrastructure projects that Delta is investing in at several of its key hubs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Salt Lake City and Seattle.