Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa yesterday applauded the official opening of a $238 million terminal renovation at Los Angeles International Airport, noting it was done on time and under budget.
The renovation of Terminal 6, which was financed jointly by Los Angeles World Airports, the Transportation Security Administration and Alaska Airlines, was originally expected to cost $271 million.
The renovation included a new “in-line” baggage inspection system to prevent passengers from having to wait for security to screen their luggage, along with new boarding lounges and concession stands.
The renovation was part of a settlement agreement announced in April 2011 between LAWA -- the city agency that runs LAX -- and Alaska Airlines stemming from a lawsuit the carrier filed in 2007, along with AirTran Airways, ATA Airways and Frontier Airlines.
The suit alleged that LAWA unfairly levied a Passenger Terminal Tariff on airlines to cover increased security costs. Alaska Airlines agreed to drop the suit and sign a 10-year lease agreement for the renovated Terminal 6.
“Alaska Air's new terminal is a perfect example of what we can achieve when government and private business work together for our shared goals,” Villaraigosa said. “We are investing in LAX because the airport isn't just a travel hub. It's an economic engine.”
The bulk of the financing for the renovation came from LAWA, through a combination of cash, passenger facility charges, TSA reimbursements and long- term debt. Alaska Airlines was scheduled to cover $18.6 million for the carrier's proprietary improvements, including a new club room, specialty lighting and other architectural improvements.
The Terminal 6 renovation is part of a much larger $4.1 billion modernization at LAX, which Villaraigosa said will generate nearly 40,000 jobs.
“When we complete the modernization of LAX, we will have developed an airport that is more modern, more efficient and more competitive,” the mayor said. “We will have an airport equal to Los Angeles' spirit and style, an airport that we can be proud of, and an airport that passengers enjoy flying into.”