Culver City Edition

LAX modernization plan approved by City Council

LOS ANGELES — A comprehensive $5.5 billion plan aimed at reducing auto traffic and congestion at Los Angeles International Airport was approved by the Los Angeles City Council June 7.

The centerpiece of the plan is a Consolidated Rent-A-Car Center that would bring together more than 20 car rental offices and feature a 2.25-mile automated people mover to eliminate the need for rental car courtesy vehicles to enter the central terminal area and reduce the number of autos driving in and out of LAX by 3,200 each day.

The plan — called the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) — also includes roadway improvements to increase vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access.

The council unanimously voted to approve the final environmental impact report on the LAMP project.

“This historic investment in LAX is about more than building a world-class airport — it’s about the future we are building for Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “LAMP will transform the way Angelenos access LAX, and visitors connect to our city. I applaud the City Council for its commitment to moving this project forward.”

The plan also would create two new intermodal transportation facilities, which would have public parking and passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. To provide access to the regional transportation system, a people mover station will be incorporated at one of the transportation facilities, where it would interface with the Airport Connector station at 96th Street and Aviation Boulevard.

“Improving options for people to get to the airport will help make LAX the world-class airport and first-class neighbor that Los Angeles deserves,” said City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents LAX and surrounding communities.

“By connecting LAX with rail lines, improving how travelers can access rental cars and reducing congestion in the Central Terminal Area, we are taking cars off the roads of Westchester and Playa del Rey, we are taking pollution from those cars out of the air and we are improving convenience for the millions of people who rely on LAX,” he said.

“We are doing big things, making great strides to reimagine LAX with a $14-billion capital development program,” said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. “This program plays such an enormous role, creating a new front door to the airport while dramatically reducing congestion and traffic by building an elevated people mover that will connect to light rail and the biggest consolidated rental car facility in the world.”

As part of its action, the City Council approved general plan amendments, specific plan amendments and zone changes, and concurred with the California Environmental Quality Act certification of the environmental impact report.

“This is an exciting time for the city as we move forward Mayor Garcetti‘s vision for a modern, gold-standard airport,” said Deborah Flint, chief executive officer for Los Angeles World Airways, the agency that runs the airport. “We have much more work to do, but today‘s decision keeps us on track to dramatically change the way guests come through LAX and will provide much-needed traffic relief.

The next step in the process for the plan is National Environmental Policy Act approval.