LAX plans to update terminal and gate numbers ahead of Olympics

Passengers wait for their flights inside the new West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport Monday, May 24, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
LAX terminals and gates will get renamed under new proposal. (Associated Press)

Los Angeles International Airport has designated $43 million to improve the way travelers navigate the airport, which will include a renumbering of terminals, gates and stations ahead of the 2028 Olympics.

The project will focus on how travelers get from terminal to terminal, gate to gate and move between the upcoming Automated People Mover, rental car facility and parking lots.

The Board of Airport Commissioners voted earlier this month to award Webcor Construction $23.9 million for the design and construction of a new “wayfinding system” that would update airport signage. The specific cost of construction and implementation has not yet been determined.

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“A perfect journey is when one doesn't get lost,” Hans Thilenius, deputy executive director of the Terminal Development and Improvement Program, said at a recent board meeting.

The project is expected to be finished by 2027, Thilenius said. The intention is to offer an “accessible, clear, consistent” way to get around the sprawling airport, according to the proposal.

Webcor’s proposal includes a consolidation of some terminals by name: Terminal 1 and Concourse 0 would become Terminal 1; Terminals 2 and 3 would become Terminal 2; Terminal B, which includes the Midfield Satellite Concourse South and the Bradley West Gates would become Tom Bradley Terminal 3; and Terminals 7 and 8 would become Terminal 7.

The proposal also includes a new gate numbering system that would designate specific letters to specific terminals instead of the current overlapping system: Terminal 1 would have Gates A and B; Terminal 2 would have Gates C and D; Terminal 3 would have Gates E and F; Terminal 4 would have Gate G; Terminal 5 would have Gate H; Terminal 6 would have Gate J; Terminal 7 would have Gates K and L, and Terminal 8 would have Gate M.

“No final decision has yet been made regarding the numbering of terminals, gates and stations,” said LAX development projects’ director of communications Jessica Merritt. “That will be decided during the design phase, with a focus on ensuring a holistic and initiative wayfinding strategy for the airport.”

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The project will rely on user-testing by airlines, customers and employees, Thilenius said. Roughly 50 to 75 people have tried out the possible new gate renumbering system.

The system will also focus on customers' reliance on technology to help people get around the airport through the use of smart devices such as mobile phones and watches and with consideration to language and accessibility for those who are hearing- or vision-impaired.

Several projects to renovate terminals, improve security checkpoints and enhance accessibility to and from the airport are underway at LAX, which saw about 6.3 million passengers last month.

These include a $1.6-billion project to update Terminals 4 and 5; a $477.5-million project to extend Terminal 1 and a $230-million project to improve Terminal 6 — all part of a $30-billion overhaul at the world’s fifth-busiest airport.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.