Los Angeles city leaders and airport officials have broken ground on the latest multibillion-dollar expansion of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti sees the project as a source of jobs for the region — and as a move to expand L.A.’s international reach.

The $1.6 billion project will bring jobs and wages to Southern California. Major Garcetti’s office says construction of the terminal is expected to create 6,000 jobs and add more than $300 million in direct wages to the regional economy.

The expansion will enable LAX to add flights while relieving congestion at other terminals. When it opens in late 2019, the five-story expansion will add 12 new gates, including two that will be able to handle megajets like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8.

“Our downtown is growing, our public transportation infrastructure is expanding, our waterfront is developing, and so it is appropriate that we are investing billions into modernizing the second busiest airport in the country,” said L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino.

The Midfield Satellite Concourse is the latest project at LAX, which is undergoing a $14 billion modernization program that includes revamped terminals and a new connector building. The 750,000-square-foot concourse will be attached to the existing Tom Bradley International Terminal via a 1,000-foot tunnel for passengers. Water-saving plumbing, a roof designed to reduce heat absorption and passive daylight lighting all will be among the design elements included to make the concourse more environmentally sustainable.

“With nearly 81 million passengers in 2016, and projections for more in the future, LAX is leading the nation in airport infrastructure improvement with innovative design, state-of- the-art features and efficiencies that will return LAX to iconic status and give travelers the world-class experience they expect and deserve,” said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

Source: The Daily Breeze