Los Angeles Airport (LAX) News
One of the topics we heard about in our recent reader’s survey was that people are interested in better understanding the City’s relationship with the Airport, the status of the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) and any future projects at the airport.
Relations between the City and LAX
Tackling the first issue, my opinion is that our relationship with the Airport is complicated like most relationships are between neighbors. We benefit in a number of ways by being next to the airport but we are also impacted by the airport. The benefits include more convenient travel for residents and business travelers, improved hotel and travel business, employment opportunities and as a business attraction tool for our Economic Development efforts. The impacts I hear about most often are increased noise, flyovers, street traffic, parking incursions and concerns about air quality. These factors shape how the City and the airport interact. We generally support their efforts to reduce traffic or make the airport quieter, but raise concerns when projects are proposed by the airport that we believe are going to further impact the City.
Landside Access Modernization Project
The LAMP project is an example of a project that potentially benefits and impacts the City. LAMP is a more than $5 billion undertaking that seeks to significantly reduce traffic in the terminal area, encourage the use of mass transit and generally improves access to and from the airport. The consolidation of rental car facilities, increased parking, the new connections to the Crenshaw and Green line light rail and the connection of all of these elements to the terminal area with the Automated People Mover (APM) should make things work smoother and reduce airport-related vehicle traffic in El Segundo by moving the activity further east and encouraging the use of mass transit. The project also removes the vehicle ramp into the airport from Sepulveda Boulevard into the airport, potentially reducing traffic on Pacific Coast Highway/Sepulveda Boulevard. The project will provide roadway improvements around Aviation Boulevard and along La Cienega Boulevard to address increased traffic along those Streets. These were seen by the City as positive aspects of the project. However, making the airport operate more efficiently raises the concern that it would ultimately allow more passenger activity to occur and generally increase the impacts we feel from being adjacent to the airport.
Without getting into all of the details, the City and the Airport eventually agreed to disagree on whether the LAMP project would further impact El Segundo but did reach a settlement agreement that called for the Airport and City of Los Angeles to repave Imperial Highway (which is happening throughout the month of September), to conduct a professional study of the parking impacts caused by the airport on the north side of town and reimburse the City for some the technical studies and efforts we incurred when evaluating the LAMP project. For more information regarding the LAMP visit https://www.lawa.org/connectinglax.
Future LAX Projects
Even with all of this expansion and renovation, LAX is looking at future projects both on the airport and off the airport. The Northside Area Project is an off-airport project that involves the development of the 93 acres of airport-owned land between the airport and Westchester, on each side of Westchester Parkway. The plan calls for the property to be developed with the business park, research and development, and open space uses. LAX is seeking interested developers to enter into agreements.
The Airport has also discussed two additional terminals being added in future years. Concourse Zero is conceptually planned for the area east of Terminal 1/Southwest while Terminal 9 would be east of the existing United Airline Terminals. The City will continue to monitor these projects as additional information becomes available and ensure that the interests of the City are addressed.
(Photo credit: Pixabay)