LAX continues to experience record passenger levels. Reports of newly scheduled international and domestic flights into LAX are touted as the deliverer of great economic value for our local economy. Economic studies show huge dollar value from these visitors entering Southern California at LAX, but similar income would also come if it were spread throughout our region.
Concentration at LAX has a cost. The local area cost is increased local traffic gridlock and oppressive pollution that would not be as substantial if the LAX “prosperity” were shared with the region.
There is increased financial disaster potential when virtually all air commerce concentrated into one location without a valid back up system. Last month two nominal earthquakes occurred just north of LAX. Had these quakes been stronger and associated with either of the two major earthquake faults adjacent to LAX the region could have experienced the disaster we know is overdue.
There’s lots of deferred maintenance at LAX in the Central Terminal Area (CTA) roadway, parking lots, and terminals. LAX is being modernized—and that is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary. LAX is undergoing the largest public works project in the region which is creating lots of needed jobs.
LAX will “look” better, but will it also make easy access a reality? The jury is still out on that. LAX landside construction projects will be at all-time levels. The people mover and consolidated rental facility are critical. However, the enunciated projects appear designed to provide “less costly,” quicker completion short term improvement instead of longer term, higher value improvements.
Why not spend even more and do it right once instead of spending even more over time to achieve the same desired result? Major issues impacting many of the Central Terminal Area (CTA) elements are known. Parking lots, roadways and even some of the terminals need to be replaced or have major structural refurbishments within ten to fifteen years or less. Isn’t it better to spend substantial money integrating more expensive, but longer benefit, convenience redesigns rather than the short time refacing projects planned?
This month LAWA did something right! The Proud Bird, a lexicon of Los Angeles history, was saved from demolition and given a new 20 year lease. The restaurant owners are going to invest $5 million in renovation improvements while keeping the traditions and feel alive. Thank you Mayor Garcetti and all of the elected who got the FAA to sign off on the lease.