LAX reopens lots, master plan appears dead

LAX reopens lots, master plan appears dead

by Brian Simon

All but one parking structure within the central terminal at Los Angeles International Airport will reopen within two weeks, airport officials said Tuesday. But curbside drop-offs and pick-ups will continue to be banned.

Under a revised traffic plan devised by LAX staff, the city’s board of airport commissioners invoked the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) waiver that allows parking within 300 feet of terminals. The board also gave Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Executive Director Lydia Kennard the final authority to decide when to reopen the central terminal area. Kennard will confer with law enforcement officials before making her announcement.

Under the plan, all roadways and parking lots in the central terminal will reopen with the exception of Lot 6, which is the newest of the parking structures.

Private vehicles entering the terminal area will be directed into parking structures and be subject to random search.

Metered parking will be available within enclosed structures only. Open-air metered parking will not be allowed.

As security becomes the main focus for LAX, the airport’s $12 billion expansion plan may now be on its deathbed. On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn directed the airport commission to shift its attention to a new master plan that stresses safety and security instead of expansion. Hahn’s

proposal would move parking as well as baggage and ticket check-ins to an off-airport location so passengers could be fully monitored before being allowed into terminals. The plan would constrain LAX to a maximum 78 million passengers per year and eliminate other key elements of the expansion plan, including a new runway, a ring road, a terminal on Pershing and cargo operations on the eastside of the airport.

Mayor Mike Gordon called Hahn's latest statement a victory for El Segundo, and said the expansion plan was finally dead. While Gordon was concerned about potential parking impacts on El Segundo from Hahn’s alternative proposal, he said it was premature to make a proper analysis. ER