Airport officials have begun a security fencing project on the northwest side of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Backhoes are currently working on the northwest edge of LAX at Northside Parkway and Westchester Parkway.

Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn originally announced the fencing project in July 2002, saying it would enhance security at LAX.

A new service road for police vehicles is also being added during the fencing project, because the nearest access for police is a few hundred yards away, said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski airport deputy David Kissinger.

Hahn had announced that he “wanted to make LAX the safest and most secure airport in the nation.”

The $14 million to $16 million plan would install an eight-mile, eight-foot-high heavy-duty chain-link fence topped with six strands of barbed wire, mounted on a 2.5 foot-high concrete rail above ground and over two feet below ground.

Intrusion detection devices, closed circuit television monitoring and increased lighting are also planned.

A-380 AIRBUS WORK — Construction at LAX for the arrival of the Airbus A-380 is expected to begin on remote gates and at the Tom Bradley International Terminal next summer.

Airfield construction is expected to start in spring 2006, said LAX public relations director Nancy Suey Castles.

An interim short-term project is planned to add and reinforce shoulders to the runways, modify two boarding gates at the Bradley International Terminal and modify some of the gates at the remote west end of the airport.

That project is moving from a design phase to a planning phase, “so there is no construction going on right now because we need to complete designs before we actually start shoveling dirt,” said Castles.

Lighting changes are planned to correspond to modifications, but that project has not begun yet, Castles said.

The activity of backhoes and construction equipment prompted curiosity in the community, with some concerns that runways might be widened before the LAX Master Plan Alternative D had been approved by the Los Angeles City Council.