LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles is set to host some major sporting events in the coming years and construction at LAX is ramping up in preparation for the expected influx of international travelers.
On Wednesday, airport officials held a "topping out" event to mark the placement of the last, and highest, steel beam for the new midfield satellite concourse that will add about 150,000 sq. feet and eight new gates to the west gates of the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
"We are accommodating demand by adding gates, by renovating out terminals so that the passenger travel experience through those gates is more efficient," said Bea Hsu, the interim CEO for LAX.
The construction is part of the $30 billion improvement plan including the long-awaited people mover train.
"The people mover, which is the elevated train that is going to move people from the central terminal area to a new consolidated rental car facility, is going to connect with Metro and it's going to connect with the LAX economy parking lot and a number of remote curbs so that passengers will have a number of options on how to get to their gate that don't involve having to take a car through the horseshoe," Hsu added.
The construction is being done in part because of mega events coming to the L.A. area that will increase traveler demand.
"We have the upcoming FIFA games, we have the Super Bowl coming up and then of course we have the 2028 Olympics coming," said Terri Mestas, the Chief Development Officer for LAX. "So we have a lot of work to do before that. This project is going to be a key piece in supporting all the guests to come and enjoy those games and those events."
The new concourse will be built off-site in nine pieces and then delivered and assembled in place, which allows workers to not be hindered by the increased security demands of working on-site and limits the impact to daily airport traffic.
"Anytime you do a project on the airfield, it creates a lot of operational challenges," said Mestas. "So we were looking at how we can reduce that... also how we quickly build this project so we can support our guests at the airport."