Los Angeles City Council to vote on $4.9bn airport PPP

The city’s board of airport commissioners approved the 30-year project that would install a light rail-type system from three terminals to three outside train stations.

The governing body for Los Angeles International Airport has approved a $4.9 billion public-private partnership contract and has sent the agreement to city council for a final vote on Wednesday.

With the blessing of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the board for Los Angeles World Airports agreed to a PPP with the LAX Integrated Express Solutions consortium, which will finance, develop and maintain a 2.25-mile automated people mover that will connect the airport with outside train stations.

“We are investing billions to modernize LAX, because it is America’s gateway to the world,” Garcetti said. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to rail at our airport – and a city that is better connected than ever before.”

The proposal with the “highest technical score” and lowest cost came from the LINXS consortium, according to a statement. That group comprises: Fluor, Balfour Beatty, ACS Infrastructure Development, Dragados USA, HOCHTIERF PPP Solutions, Flatiron, HDR and HNTB.

The people-mover project is the “centrepiece” of LAWA’s Landside Access Modernization Program to redevelop of LAX, the second busiest airport in the US. The project plan is to construct an automated, electric light rail-type system that will move people to and from three airport terminals and three outside train stations at up to 10,000 passengers per hour. LAWA said it expects the people mover to connect with a rental car facility, which is also part of the modernisation programme.

The $4.9 billion contract features milestone payments for project design and construction and authorises payments for operation and maintenance for three decades, according to LAWA.

The consortium has committed to using drought-tolerant California native plants for the landscaping component of the project, constructing a maintenance facility that will achieve at least LEED Silver certification and using a greater portion of solar power than required.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Council will vote on the PPP. According to a statement from ACS, the LINXS consortium expects to reach commercial close on the deal in April and financial close in June. The overall project is scheduled to complete construction in 2023.