RFP for LAX light-rail system expected in July

The train will be part of the airport’s $5.5bn modernisation

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved a request for proposals to develop a light rail connecting parts of Los Angeles International Airport as part of its $5.5 billion modernisation programme.

Los Angeles World Airports, the project’s procurement authority, is seeking proposals from developers interested in building an automated people-mover train connecting the central terminal to the city’s light-rail system, a rental car facility and parking structures, according to a statement. The RFP is expected to be published by the end of July.

The parking and rental car facility are also part of LAWA’s Landside Access Modernisation Programme, which is planned to relieve traffic congestion, increase passengers from around 75 million to 79 million annually and provide for easier transit connection.

“The APM is a critical project for the future modernisation of LAX and is the solution to providing reliable, time-certain access to airline terminals for passengers, employees and other users,” said LAWA chief executive Deborah Flint.

Three consortiums have expressed interest in bidding on the project: Gateway Connectors (Kiewit, Meridiam and Skanska); 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 last August when it signed a tentative agreement with a community activist organisation, the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion, which 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.

Project proposals are due in November 2017 and a contract should be awarded by early 2018, according to LAWA.