Los Angeles Airport $5.5bn revamp gets closer to takeoff

A tentative agreement with a community organisation could clear the path for the project, which has received interest from the likes of Meridiam, Aberdeen and Axium.

Los Angeles World Airports, owner and operator of Los Angeles Airport (LAX), has signed a tentative agreement that could put an end to lengthy litigation with community organisation Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion (ARSAC).

“Under the tentative Memorandum of Understanding, ARSAC has agreed it will not directly or indirectly commence, prosecute or fund any lawsuits or administrative complaints that could delay, prevent, impede, alter or affect in any way the approval or implementation of several projects, including the Landside Access Modernisation Programme,” LAWA said in a statement.

For its part, LAWA would commit to implementing and studying a variety of safety improvements on the airport’s north airfield and would identify a site for a new air quality monitoring station.

“Our goal in this process has always been to reach a compromise that helps us strengthen and enhance the Westchester and Playa del Rey communities while pursuing a world-class modernization of LAX,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “After years of hard work, I am proud that we have reached this tentative agreement together.”

Settling disputes would allow the airport to move its modernisation programme through local, state and federal environmental reviews, approvals and implementation without ARSAC litigation, according to the statement.

The agreement, which was the result of negotiations between the mayor’s office, the city council, LAWA and ARSAC, is pending approval by the city council. It was not clear when the agreement may be approved. LAWA was not immediately available for comment.

LAWA has already initiated the environmental review and clearance process for LAMP, announcing last November that it would procure two of the five components of the modernisation project as PPPs.

The two components that qualify for PPP delivery are the Automated People Mover (APM) project that will connect the central terminal with a new Consolidated Rent-a-Car facility, also to be delivered as a P3.

The agency, which is a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, has already received statements of qualifications (SOQs) from five teams for the APM project, which includes an elevated 2.25 mile guideway, six train stations, moving walkways and parking garages.

The five teams that submitted SOQs earlier this month are 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); LINXS (Fluor Enterprises, Balfour Beatty, Hochtief and ACS Infrastructure Development).

The other three components of LAMP include a transit connection to the Metro 96th Street station, two intermodal transit facilities, including pick-up/drop-off curbs, and road improvements. LAWA has not yet decided which delivery method it will use for those projects.

In addition to operating LAX, the third-busiest US airport and the seventh-busiest in the world, LAWA also owns and operates LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation airports.