Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the second-busiest airport in the United States and the fourth-busiest in the world. And while a 2019 Fodor’s Travel Guide survey ranks it as the worst airport in the world, with a $14 billion modernization project, that’s not a title that will stand very long.

LAMP lights the way

Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), part of the first phase of the Capital Improvement Plan, began in 2018 and is scheduled to be complete by 2023. It has five major congestion-relieving elements aimed at improving the traveler’s experience, including:

Automated People Mover (APM): An electric and renewable energy powered train will arrive at stations every two minutes. Along the 2.25 miles elevated route, the four-car train will stop at six stations and connect to Metro Rail (Crenshaw and Green Line) transit services, car rental and passenger pick-up/drop-off locations. Free to ride, it will have a 200 passenger capacity (with luggage) and could serve 10,000 passengers per hour (that’s 87.7 million per year).

Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center (ConRAC): No longer scattered throughout the area, a new six million square foot location will centralize 8,000 ready/return car rental spaces and an additional 10,000 overflow spaces. Space for 1,200 rental car employees and 2,200 airport employees will also be available. With easy access to/from the 405 Freeway, ConRac is expected decrease traffic (and emissions) around LAX.

Intermodal Transportation Facilities (ITF): Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says this new facility will, “stand as a new front door to our airport welcoming travelers, reducing traffic congestion, and offering a seamless connection with the upcoming Automated People Mover.” A total of 3.1 million square miles will provide parking (4,300 stalls by 2020 and an additional 2,500 by 2025) and ground transportation (taxis, buses, ride-sharing services).

Airport Metro Connector Station (AMC): Fully funded by Metro, it makes travel via public transportation possible to/from LAX and destinations as far reaching as downtown Santa Monica, Long Beach, Pasadena or Azusa.

Roadway improvements: Several new roads will be built through 2023 to provide access to ITF and ConRAC facilities and improve traffic conditions in the surrounding area. This includes improved freeway ramps, additional lanes for traffic, and new bicycle and pedestrian pathways.

Infrastructure impact

Beyond making LAX a more modern and efficient experience for travelers, this historic infrastructure investment has created more than 2,000 construction jobs, with 30% of those opportunities reserved for residents of Los Angeles as well as highly impacted communities near the airport. HireLAX, Los Angeles World Airports’ Apprenticeship Readiness Program, placed more than 100 graduates in construction trade jobs to assist in building the future of LAX.

An economic study revealed that LAX’s ongoing capital-improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion, $966 million in state and local taxes, and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.