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Tom Bradley International Terminal phase 1 opens to travelers

September 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Phase one of the new and improved Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX opened to the public on Wednesday.

This is just part of the $1.9 billion improvement project for the terminal. Phase one includes new state-of-the-art technology at all the new gates, which have automated docking systems and boarding bridges. These new features could prevent flight delays. The terminal will also include new customs and baggage claim areas.

The hope for the new terminal is to cut down the time it takes you to go from the curb to the gate from two hours to 20-30 minutes.

"Due to the uniformity of everything, the passenger time from the curbside to the boarding gate will be shortened. Everything from the ticketing counters, going through TSA security, and just getting on to the Great Hall to experience the different shops and restaurants," said Katherine Alvarado with Los Angeles World Airports.

Along with the new gates, the terminal will feature high-end amenities, providing travelers with new places to eat and shop.

The new shops and eateries in the Antonio Villaraigosa Pavilion are being phased in starting Wednesday. The new stores, which include Umami Burger, Border Grill, Michael Kors, Fred Segal, Gucci and more, will open their doors in the coming weeks. The pavilion will also include a new play area for kids, an entertainment board and a giant clock which will put on a show for travelers at every hour.

The pavilion, also called the Great Hall, sports unique architecture. The terminal's wave-like roof is supposed to reflect ocean waves, meant to represent California's beach culture.

Curtis Fentress, the architect behind the terminal, said the Great Hall is meant to give people a taste of Los Angeles as they head in or out of the city.

"It's going to be a very memorable experience for everyone who is leaving. I showed a friend of mine a video the other day. They said, 'This is so exciting, I'll probably miss my plane when I leave,'" Fentress said.

When the entire improvement project is completed in 2015, the Tom Bradley International Terminal will have 18 brand new gates. Nine of those gates will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380, which will make LAX the world's largest facility for double-decker planes.

The entire project will create 2,000 permanent concession jobs, in addition to the 4,000 jobs created during the construction process.

Phase two will involve the check-in area at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with construction slated to begin in the next few months.


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