By City News Service
United Airlines plans to spend $425 million in government airport money to rebuild its three terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, it was reported today.
The Daily Breeze newspaper quoted documents that United just filed with Los Angeles World Airports, which said federal security grants and city airport improvement accounts would pay for most of the upgrades.
Under the plan, terminals 6, 7 and 8 would be substantially rebuilt, and the security checkpoints that were squeezed in at four different locations will be consolidated and improved. Some passengers currently are forced to exit the building and line up on a pedestrian overpass to wait in security lines.
United also plans to build a new 29,000-square-foot lounge for its premium passengers in Terminal 7, the newspaper reported.
According to the plans obtained by the Daily Breeze, United expects LAWA to commit $425 million in cash and car rental tax receipts, under its contract with the airlines. The city agency collects money on ticket sales and car rental taxes for its revolving airport improvement fund.
United will pay for costs that are unique to the airline, such as finishes highlighting the airline's brand and special lighting, the Daily Breeze reported. Federal grants are expected to pay for some Transportation Security Agency facilities.
Its neighbors are also upgrading terminals, which last saw across-the- board improvements before the 1984 Olympic games. Alaska Airlines received $300 million for its now-finished upgrades at Terminal 3, Delta Air Lines is getting $200 million to make over Terminal 5, and Southwest Airlines has $400 million in plans for Terminal 1, the newspaper reported.
The $1.9 billion expansion and makeover at the Tom Bradley International Terminal is nearly complete, with full flight operations to begin this month, according to an LAWA plan.
Although other American airports handle more passengers, as they have large numbers of connecting-flight operations, LAX claims that more people start or finish their trips at LAX than at any other U.S. airport.
The United plan must be approved by the city's Board of Airport Commissioners, the Daily Breeze noted.