COVID crash allows Delta to accelerate $US1.8bn LAX revamp

November 14, 2020
A rendering of the consolidated check-in at LAX. Image: Delta.

Delta Air Lines says the COVID crisis has allowed it to accelerate its Los Angeles International Airport revamp and passengers can now look forward to an “all-new” experience by mid-2023.

The $US1.83 billion Delta Sky Way project to modernize, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal will be ready a full 18 months ahead of schedule.

The project is part of the $US14 billion LAX Modernization Program that will see LAX, an airport seen by many international travelers as one of the world’s less enjoyable experiences,  transformed in advance of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.

READ: American app helps flyers navigate COVID crisis.

Airline officials joined their city and airport counterparts to make the announcement as the final steel beam was secured to complete the “central headhouse” structure where Delta’s consolidated check-in lobby, security checkpoint and bag claim facility will be located.

The acceleration is made possible by lower passenger volumes at LAX and in the US that have allowed the temporary closure of Terminal 3.

“If there’s a silver lining to fewer people flying right now, it’s that we have an opportunity and a team with the know-how to pull the future forward on infrastructure projects like Sky Way at LAX, which will deliver an exceptional experience much faster than planned for our customers and employees,” said Mark Pearson, Delta vice president, corporate real estate.

Delta’s LAX central headhouse will open in the first quarter of 2022. The facility will provide connectivity beyond security between Terminals 2 and 3, currently only possible via a shuttle bus. The project will provide access to the LAX Automated People Mover, opening in 2023.

When completed, the modern LAX facility will offer more security screening capacity, automated security lanes, more gate-area seating and the airline’s largest Delta Sky Club.

The 27-gate complex on Terminals 2 and 3 with a secure connection to Tom Bradley International Terminal, will enable Delta and its global partners to effectively utilize gates in all terminals. The ability for customers to seamlessly travel between terminals is expected to cut connecting times by up to 20 minutes

The reconstructed Terminal 3 concourse will feature new gates and a complete renovation of the 1960s-style satellite building. The terminal will be larger, have more gate and seating space along with premium retail and dining line-ups.

The airline’s big Delta Sky Club will include an indoor/outdoor double bar, a year-round outdoor Sky Deck and premium showers.

Other amenities will include a revamped and expedited Delta One check-in, more access to seat power in gate areas and modern, intuitive signage.

“We’ve built a robust domestic and international network out of Los Angeles that customers have quickly come to rely on,” said Delta vice-president sales Scott Santoro. “We remain committed to offering the destinations and service customers have come to expect from Delta out of L.A. as the Sky Way project continues and our network is poised to be stronger than ever out of LAX as we recover from the pandemic.”