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LAX modernisation cleared for proposals

Potential bidders are lining up as the world's seventh-busiest airport prepares to request proposals for the five-part project.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved a request for proposals for developers to submit plans to modernise the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The board, along with LAX owner Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), will consider bids submitted from a shortlist of qualified developers who responded to a request for qualifications in June. The $5.5 billion Landside Access Modernisation Program (LAMP) is a five-part project, with two components qualifying as a public-private partnership, to improve efficiency and accessibility of the seventh busiest airport in the world.

The two phases of LAMP that will be developed as a PPP are the Automated People Mover project that will connect the central terminal with a new Consolidated Rent-a-Car facility, that will also be developed as a PPP. The LAX modernisation also includes constructing a transit connection to the Metro 96th Street station, two intermodal transit facilities, including pick-up/drop-off curbs, and road improvements.

Five teams submitted statements of qualification for the project: Gateway Connectors (Kiewit, Meridiam and Skanska); LA Connext Partners (Ferrovial, Cintra, John Laing, Bechtel and Bombardier Transportation); LAX Connecting Alliance (OHL Infrastructure, Acciona Concesiones, Star America Fund, Aberdeen Global Infrastructure, Axium Infrastructure and Charles Pankow Builders); and LINXS (Fluor Enterprises, Balfour Beatty, Hochtief and ACS Infrastructure Development).

LAWA cleared a legal hurdle in August when it signed a tentative agreement with a community activist organisation, Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC), that was seeking to block the project. ARSAC fought the LAX expansion for decades, arguing that a proposed airport runway closer to neighbouring communities would increase noise and environmental pollution. The agreement put the proposed runway on indefinite hold.

The overall expansion is designed to relieve traffic congestion, increase passengers from around 75 million to 79 million annually and provide for easier transit connection.