New construction projects at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are expected to have a significant impact on the regional economy, creating nearly 40,000 new jobs and generating billions of dollars for workers and the Los Angeles area, a new report has found.
City and airport officials touted the job and revenue benefits of the LAX construction projects during a news conference at the airport April 19. The report, released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), has found that the projects are anticipated to create a total of 39,900 new jobs and generate $2.62 billion in worker income and $6.9 billion in revenue for the Los Angeles area.
“The LAX modernization project is one of the city’s most successful job creation and economic recovery efforts,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “By investing in LAX’s infrastructure, we are ensuring that the airport will remain competitive in the global market, bringing visitors to our great city and putting our residents to work now and for years to come.”
The economic development corporation analyzed the $4.11-billion, new-construction program currently underway at LAX and found that the timing of the project “positions the airport to be competitive as a leading global gateway.”
“Ultimately, these projects represent valuable investments in Los Angeles County. At a time when the city’s unemployment rate hovers around 13 percent, we stand to gain almost 40,000 jobs over the next seven years from the LAX modernization projects,” said LAEDC President and CEO Bill Allen. “We also stand to gain almost 4,000 jobs for every year of this entire project in our most decimated industry, construction, where we lost 56,500 jobs over the past two years.”
Among the new construction projects at LAX, the modernization of the Tom Bradley International Terminal is considered the most significant, as it constitutes more than $1.45 billion and is the largest public works project in Los Angeles city history that will double the size of the current one-million-square-foot terminal.
Other projects included in the report are the $438-million replacement of the Central Utility Plant; nearly $300 million in aircraft taxilane improvements; $270 million in elevator/escalator replacements and over $600 million for in-line baggage handling and screening systems in all terminals; as well as more than $636 million in improvements throughout Terminals 4, 5 and 6.
“Our relentless efforts to bring businesses, airport leaders, and the local community together to make LAX modernization a reality is finally paying off in a big way for our city; but the real story of the day is the 39,900 jobs that we’ve created. That’s 39,900 families that can count on their paychecks during these tough economic times and, although we have a price tag for it, it’s hard to put a value on that,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said.
The projects are being funded by a combination of revenue bonds, LAX revenue and capital improvement funds, passenger facility charges, airline capital for proprietary improvements, and federal grants from the Federal Aviation Administration (airfield improvements) and Transportation Security Administration (in-line baggage screening improvements). No monies from the Los Angeles City general fund are being used.