The revamp of the aging terminal, which houses all Southwest Airlines flights, was built in the early 1980s, and is expected to transform the passenger experience from the curb to the gate, and will be completed in phases by 2018.
The transformation will include a new 12-lane security screening checkpoint; a fully automated checked-baggage inspection and sortation system; a new and expanded F&B and retail collection featuring activated gate hold rooms with lounge-style seating; refurbished arrival/baggage claim area; and replacement of the passenger boarding bridges.
It will also see renovations to airline support office space; modernized aircraft parking/apron pavement and hydrant fueling system; improvements to the building facade; and relocation of the main terminal entrances to the west end of the building to ease traffic congestion.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) executive director, Gina Marie Lindsey, explains: “The partnership we have with Southwest Airlines will create the world-class experience we want for all LAX passengers.
“As our passenger base continues to grow and change, we are working hard to increase efficiency and accommodate their needs today and in the future.”
In collaboration with Southwest Airlines and LAWA, the modernized concourse design by Westfield aims to have "a hip, modern Californian feel that taps into the LA feeling and energy of the Southwest brand".
The design is set to bring the terminal to life with opened and expanded views to flight operations and inviting sightlines outside, as well as authentic layers of materials and finishes, sculpted facades and pops of color inside.
Westfield’s new retail and F&B collection in Terminal 1 will offer 24 concessions across 25,242 square feet, nearly double the existing programme, and will include full-service restaurants along with a variety of casual and grab-and-go food offerings, and high-end retail and traveller essentials.
The programme will open in a phased approach, with the first Westfield developed spaces scheduled to open late Summer 2015.
Dominic Lowe, executive vice president Westfield, explains: “The redevelopment of Terminal 1 is another pivotal milestone in our journey to bring world-class dining, retail, and amenities to the millions of travellers who use LAX as their gateway to the world.
“We are thrilled to partner with Southwest Airlines and Los Angeles World Airports to create a uniquely Los Angeles, cutting-edge new environment and passenger experience to rival the world’s best airport terminals.”
When completed, the passenger’s journey from curb to aircraft boarding bridge will be transformed and designed to provide a more efficient and exciting travel experience through reorganisation of the interior uses of the building, and shifting the ticketing lobby and main entrances to the west, while passenger drop-off and pick up areas are anticipated to improve, as well as congestion in front of Terminal 1 reduced.
When finished, Terminal 1 will accommodate Southwest Airlines' aircraft along with updated passenger boarding bridges, aircraft apron pavement, upgraded hydrant fueling system, and electric-vehicle chargers to support its electric ground service equipment programme.
The airline is the only carrier in Terminal 1, and in 2013, the fourth busiest airline at LAX, served more than 7.4 million passengers, and Bob Montgomery, Southwest Airlines vice president of airport affairs, explains: “The Modernization of Terminal 1 at LAX has long been in our sights.
"The renovation within our current space at Terminal 1 will allow us to better serve our customers today as well as provide the opportunity to expand our network options alongside any growth in customer demand.”