Mayor Jim Hahn Releases Environmental Analysis and Details of His Enhanced Safety & Security Alternative for Los Angeles International Airport Master Plan.
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 9, 2003
Delivering on his pledge to make Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the safest and most secure airport in America, Mayor Jim Hahn today announced the release of the environmental analysis and further details of his plan to modernize LAX as an integral part of a Southern California regional air transportation system.
"The goal of creating this Enhanced Safety and Security Master Plan is to modernize LAX to protect one of Los Angeles' key economic engines," Mayor Hahn said. "At the same time, the plan addresses community interests and concerns by designing the facility to serve only LAX's fair share of the total regional air service market."
Mayor Hahn was joined by representatives of business, labor, airlines, government and the community at the announcement of the public review and comment period for the Supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (SDEIS/EIR), including his LAX Enhanced Safety and Security Master Plan (Alternative D).
Mayor Hahn announced that the public review period on the LAX Master Plan will be held through August 25, 2003. Nine public hearings will be conducted throughout the region between August 11 and August 23. The Master Plan is a joint effort of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The LAX Master Plan was placed on a federal streamlining list earlier this year to help facilitate the environmental review process at the federal level.
Mayor Hahn, who serves as the Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Airport Safety and Security Task Force, announced his intention to prepare an alternative to the LAX Master Plan on October 8, 2001. Since then, planners, engineers and environmental consultants have been working with airport officials to further develop the plan and analyze its environmental impact.
Airport officials and Mayor Hahn's staff held more than 100 stakeholder meetings with airline representatives, chambers of commerce, elected officials and community members across the region as the plan evolved, briefing approximately 2,800 people in the last year alone.
"I am looking forward to continue seeking community and stakeholder input in the coming months," said Mayor Jim Hahn. "We are working together to make every effort to keep LAX safe and secure."
The plan designs the future airport to accommodate approximately 78.9 million annual passengers and 3.1 million annual tons of cargo. These traffic volumes are consistent with the goals established in the Southern California Association of Governments 2001 Regional Transportation Plan to promote growth of underutilized airports in outlying areas and to achieve a more decentralized distribution of future air traffic around the region.
Mayor Hahn said the approximately $9-billion plan would be designed and constructed in phases over an 11-year period beginning in late 2004. The program would be financed through a combination of airport funding mechanisms, including revenue bonds, grants, concession revenues, Passenger Facility Charges, leases and landing fees. Mayor Hahn pledged that no taxpayer dollars would be expended from the City's General Fund.
The construction of airport improvements suggested in the plan would create nearly 49,000 direct construction-related jobs, pumping millions of dollars into the local economy. Mayor Hahn said it would be the largest public works project in America to require Project Labor Agreements (PLA).
The plan addresses four crucial areas: (1) airfield, including runway and taxiway safety improvements; (2) ground access (roadways, transit), automobile parking and rental cars; (3) terminal facilities; and (4) security concerns.
The North and South dual runway complexes would be modified to improve safety through the addition of center parallel taxiways between the runways. The FAA's latest airport design criteria would be applied to all new facilities developed as part of the plan. The North and South airfield usage would be balanced by lengthening the North runways.
These airfield modifications would improve aircraft maneuvering, reduce taxi delay, and increase airfield safety.
Airport traffic congestion is significantly reduced through new internal airport roads capable of handling passenger volume and expanded direct transit access, as well as proposed mitigation measures calling for direct freeway access.
Alternative D uses the area bounded by Aviation Blvd., Arbor Vitae St., La Cienega Blvd., and Imperial Hwy, as a comprehensive on-airport access area. This area would provide access to the new Ground Transportation Center and Intermodal Transportation Center, and add 36-lane miles of new airport access roads to improve the flow of traffic. Proposed mitigation measures would provide direct connection from the I-405 and I-105 Freeways with grade-separated roadways into the new internal airport roadway system.
The development of a Consolidated Rental Car Facility further reduces airport area traffic congestion. Each of these new ground access facilities would be connected to the airport terminal area by an Automated People Mover System. The automated people mover trains would operate to the Central Terminal Area from stations at each of the nodal points with an average 2-minute frequency.
-- Ground Transportation Center (GTC)
The GTC is proposed as the pick-up and drop-off place for LAX travelers. It would replace the curbside drop-off area in the Central Terminal Area (CTA). The GTC would have eight separate 1400-foot-long curbsides connecting arrival and departing passengers to two separate and redundant people mover train stations. The curbsides would be identified through electronic signage designating airline and function. Curbside check-in would be available at the departing curbs for those needing or desiring this service.
Hourly structural parking would be available adjacent to the train stations to encourage greeters and well-wishers to stay with or meet passengers in the CTA. The GTC would also provide 7,500 structural parking spaces for long- and short-term use.
Airport security screening of passengers and baggage would be conducted at the GTC. The facility would be designed to accommodate security mechanisms such as limitations on the size and type of vehicles allowed at the curbs and in the parking garages, uniformed and plain-clothes officers, canine patrol units, advanced technology devices and behavioral observation. The GTC would have the space and flexibility to normalize airport operations even while responding to heightened security needs.
-- Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC)
The ITC would be the LAX connecting point for the Metro Rail Green Line light rail, regional transit buses, and future Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) rapid buses. The ITC would have a direct connection by a power walkway to the Green Line light rail station at Aviation Blvd. and Imperial Highway.
The ITC would also provide 9,100 structural parking spaces. An adjacent lot would offer 5,500 surface parking spaces. Structural parking would be for daily (less than seven days) business travelers and surface parking would likely be used by long-term and weekly travelers. The ITC would be conveniently connected to the CTA by the airport Automated People Mover System.
The same airport security screening used in the GTC would also be employed at the ITC.
-- Consolidated Rental Car Facility (RAC)
All on-airport rental car companies would have their facilities in a single, consolidated location. Ready and return structural spaces would abut a people mover station to facilitate easy roll-on or roll-off, non-stop service to the CTA. Rental car quick turnaround service areas, personnel offices, maintenance facilities and car storage lots would radiate from the ready and return spaces for maximum rental car company efficiency. The consolidation into one rental car center would facilitate directional signage for RAC customers to and from adjacent interstate highways and local streets.
The same airport security screening used in the GTC and ITC would also be employed at the RAC prior to passengers boarding the Automated People Mover System.
-- Automated People Mover System (APM)
The new facilities would be built with People Mover Stations that service the CTA. Service would be available every 2 minutes with an average wait of just one minute. The APM would provide non-stop service from the GTC to the CTA in approximately 5 minutes. Service from the ITC to the CTA, with just one stop at the RAC, would be less than 8 minutes.
Each APM station would have two tracks and be designed in a flow-through manner, whereby entering and exiting passengers use opposite sides of the car. The People Mover trains would be designed to easily and efficiently accept both roll-on luggage and baggage carts.
The APM would operate on elevated structures so as not to interfere with existing roadways.
REDEVELOPED CENTRAL TERMINAL AREA (CTA)
Today, LAX serves its passengers through a combination of less than 4 million square feet of terminal landside and airside buildings. This well-used space is inadequate by today's standards and prevents the flexibility to respond to changing security needs.
The LAX Master Plan proposes to bring LAX's terminal facilities into the 21st Century by creating a new central landside terminal in the space now occupied by the CTA parking structures. Passenger and baggage screening conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would take place in this facility and in close proximity to the aircraft gate areas. This new passenger terminal would be connected to a new North Linear Concourse replacing Terminals 1, 2, 3 and the north side of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The Bradley Terminal would be redesigned to add a new passenger concourse and aircraft gate area on its existing west face. A new Satellite Concourse would be constructed west of TBIT and would be connected to the main terminal by a secure underground people mover. Existing Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 would be refurbished, as necessary, and connected to the new main terminal building.
The new terminal and passenger concourses would occupy more than 6.5 million square feet of space and bring LAX's passenger facilities up to today's international and domestic standards for all functional spaces.
NORMALIZED OPERATIONS UNDER HEIGHTENED SECURITY
The focus of Mayor Hahn's plan for LAX is to normalize passenger operations under any security circumstance. Meeting security requirements at LAX today is expensive and disruptive to the daily movement of people and goods through the airport and on local area streets. The Master Plan improvements would create the space and separation needed to balance the needs of airport users with the facilities, systems and tactics necessary to protect lives and airport infrastructure from those who aim to disrupt and destroy commerce in the U.S. The plan provides the space and flexibility necessary to meet the evolving federal security requirements.
The plan would employ the latest evolving technologies to identify and intercept all threats through checked and carry-on baggage. It would also eliminate the possibility of major disruptions to airport operations by removing all non-essential vehicles from the Central Terminal Area/central processing area of the airport.
A security analysis of the Enhanced Safety and Security Alternative performed by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is included in the Draft Master Plan Addendum. It concludes that Alternative D is "overwhelmingly a better plan for LAX than the No Action/No Project Alternative. The ability of Alternative D to be flexible to meet future security needs is an optimal, forward thinking design." SAIC is the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering company, providing information technology, systems integration and eSolutions to commercial and government customers.
The SDEIS/EIR and Draft Master Plan Addendum is available to the public for review in a variety of ways. Copies are available in 50 local and regional libraries, at the LAX Master Plan Public Reading Room located at the Imperial Terminal/Flight Path Learning Center at 6661 Imperial Highway and other locations across the region. The documents can also be viewed in their entirety on the Internet at www.laxmasterplan.org or purchased in various formats, including CD-ROM, by contacting Printco Graphics at 323-727-6668.
Following the conclusion of the public comment period, the FAA, airport staff and its consultants will respond to comments and make any needed revisions based on the public input. The result will be a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report that will be forwarded to the Board of Airport Commissioners, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and then the Los Angeles City Council for review and action. Following City approvals, the plan will be forwarded to the FAA for coordination of final review and issuance of a Record of Decision.