An LAX source sent me these photos of an anti-Monkey protest over the weekend at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. According to the flier, most major world airlines have stopped shipping Monkeys are cargo, but China Southern is a holdout.
Los Angeles International Airport is finally making some progress on a new connector building between the Tom Bradley International Airport and American’s Terminal 4. It should be finished by the end of 2015.
If all goes well, this should be an important change for customers on a bunch of different airlines. For now, travelers on United, Alaska, Delta and American must either make a long walk outside security or take a shuttle bus, also outside security, to reach the airport’s main international terminal. But when this building is finished, customers on all of those airlines should be able to make seamless connections from domestic flights onto international ones. This will save a lot of time. And departing passengers will only have to go through security once.
For this to become a reality, Los Angeles International Airport will have to reopen an underground tunnel between Terminals 4 and 5. That should happen at some point, though I don’t know when. (It has been closed for years.) Once that happens, Terminals 4 through 8 will all be connected on the South Side of LAX. The news is not so good for passengers using Terminal 1, 2, 3, who will still need to do a lot of schlepping to get to the main international terminal.
Here are some renderings of the new connector building, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports.
Walsh/Austin, the construction firm that built the new $2 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, says the airport has failed to pay its bills for unforeseen costs, according to a lawsuit filed last month.
This lawsuit, which I detailed in Tuesday’s newspaper, deals with only one subcontractor — an electrical firm called SASC — which billed more than $2.4 million for extra work but was never paid.
SASCO claims that the city provided “… electrical design documents that were inaccurate and replete with errors, conflicts and other defects.” It also says the city engaged in a practice of “… hindering, interfering with and disrupting the performance of Walsh/Austin and SASCO in performing electrical work on the project.”
One $2.4 million lawsuit is not a huge deal. But in an attachment to the suit, Walsh/Austin suggest there could be many more like this. It suggests the city may not have paid other bills for unexpected construction costs. From my story:
Three subcontractors have already filed lawsuits against Walsh/Austin and the city in connection with alleged changes and delays during the project, and many more lawsuits of a similar nature are expected,” reads an attachment to the SASCO suit.
Walsh/Austin says it currently has several administrative claims going against the city for non payment of bills. In the lawsuit, the company suggests it could file more litigation if those claims for extra payment are turned down.
“Walsh/Austin and SASCO have other change order requests against and claims against the city arising from performance of the project that are not included in this action,” the suit states.
Los Angeles International Airport reported record international traffic in 2013, with nearly 17.9 million international passengers using the facility. The previous high was 17.5 million set in 2005.
Overall, 66.7 passengers went through LAX in 2013, an increase of about 5 percent over the previous year. LAX, which saw a sharp downturn in traffic after 2001, is finally starting to rebound in a big way. The airport’s record traffic was set in 2000, at slightly more than 67 million.
I think there’s a great likelihood that LAX breaks that overall mark in 2014. All seems to be going well for LAX, and the airline executives I speak with say the market is strong. (Lest you think they’re spinning me, these same executives do not have such bullish predictions for Ontario and Burbank Airports.)
As for the international numbers, city and airport officials should be proud of them. They have attracted several new airlines since I’ve been covering the beat and persuaded others to use larger airplanes or add new flights. But let’s not start attributing the added traffic to the new international terminal. For one, the building only partially opened in September. And for another — and this is important — most airline and airport people tell me that fancy new buidlings actually have less of an impact on passenger numbers than you might think. Yes, passengers are happpier in nice terminals, but apparently few travelers choose an airport based on the terminal’s amenities.
Here’s some historic LAX passenger traffic data, courtesy of the airport.
Due to construction and the merger with US Airways, some changes are coming to the American Airlines operation at Los Angeles International Airport.
Here’s what we learned from an American newsletter this week to LAX employees: