A major piece of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport is scheduled to open on Sept. 18, two sources with knowledge of the matter told L.A. Airspace on Monday.
The opening date has been notoriously fluid – for a long time it was supposed to open on Dec. 12, 2012 – and it is certainly possible the date could get pushed back. But for now, my sources assure me, Sept. 18 is a good bet.
The nearly $2 billion terminal will have 18 gates, nine of which will be able to accommodate the double-decker Airbus A380. It will have 1.2 million square feet of space, and a lot of shopping, with stores selling high-end goods from luxury purveyors like Gucci and Hermes. The goal was to give Los Angeles a top-notch international terminal matching those in airports around the world, from Hong Kong to Seoul to London.
“The building is an expensive building,” airport executive director Gina Marie Lindsey told me in the spring. “This is the first building we have built at LAX for decades, and all you have to do is look at the roof and know that we were not taking the most economical approach to what the next terminal at LAX was going to look like. A curved roof is always going to be more expensive than a flat roof.
“We made that determination collectively because something needed to look better at this airport.”
For several months, airport officials have promised that Phase 1 of the project would be finished by the end of summer. If it opens on the 18th, airport officials will meet their goal by three days.
Eventually, plans call for construction workers to tear down some parts of the existing terminal and renovate others. That process will take a couple more years. But travelers should notice a big – and positive – change as soon as Phase 1 is opened.