New concourse aims to reduce gate wait at Los Angeles

by Jerome Greer Chandler
March 02, 2017
los Angeles midified concourse
The new midfield concourse

Flyers who frequent the world’s seventh busiest airport in Los Angeles know just because they have landed doesn’t mean they have arrived.

Instead, they discover the terminal gate they expected waiting at Los Angeles International Airport is still occupied.

“Gate capacity is one of the things we are working on,” says LAX spokesman Charles H. Pannunzio. “The Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will help.”

Due to open in late 2019, the 12-gate midfield concourse just broke ground .  The $US1.6 billion, five-level satellite will be connected to the Tom Bradley International Terminal (known locally at TIBIT) by a 1,000 foot (305m)  underground pedestrian tunnel fitted with moving walkways.

The MSC is being built to serve international widebodies, although there will be room enough for smaller single aisle aircraft too.
Two of the 12 gates will be able to handle very large Airbus A380s and Boeing 787-8s.  The rest will be given over to Boeing 777s and 787s, as well as Airbus A330s and A350s.

Pannunzio says the airlines using MSC will vary, and that at times it will accommodate domestic flights as needed.

This sorely-needed satellite terminal will not only create more gate space but cut down the number of times passengers have to motor out to remote gates via bus—not a flyer favorite.  Those remotes don’t have passenger services or amenities.

Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners President Sean Burton says: “With nearly 81 million passengers in 2016, and projections for more into the future” the MSC will help “return LAX to iconic status and give passengers the world-class experience they expect and deserve.”

The MSC should be both sunny and smart, offering good views suffused with natural daylight in public spaces.
The smart part is a function of high-tech amenities,  including  flight information displays with scanners that allow passengers to get personalized maps on their boarding passes.

Officials say Beacon technology will work with the new LAX  smartphone app so passengers can easily find where they are going.

Lots of folks will be coming and going at LAX during the two-and-a-half years it’s projected to take to finish the MSC, but the officials say the impact of construction will be “minimal.”