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Los Angeles backs upgrades for LAX terminals despite objections from El Segundo

Los Angeles backs upgrades for LAX terminals despite objections from El Segundo
Los Angeles officials are pushing ahead with an overhaul of terminals 2 and 3 at Los Angeles International Airport, over the objections of neighboring El Segundo. (FG/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images)

Los Angeles lawmakers voted Friday to back the planned overhaul of two terminals at Los Angeles International Airport, overriding concerns from the nearby city of El Segundo.

Airport officials plan to tear down and rebuild parts of terminals 2 and 3 to ease crowding at security checkpoints, make it easier for passengers to get to their gates, and give aging areas of the terminals a makeover.

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The renovations will nearly double the size of the two terminals to more than 1.6 million square feet.

Mark Waier, communications director for Los Angeles World Airports, said in a written statement Friday that the proposed project "will improve safety and security and provide operational efficiencies."

"In addition to much needed renovations to aging terminal facilities, the project could include up to four additional aircraft gates to accommodate existing demand at LAX," Waier said.

El Segundo lodged an appeal against the plan after it was approved by the Board of Airport Commissioners last month, arguing that airport officials failed to properly analyze and mitigate the effects the proposed renovation would have on its residents.

For instance, the city has raised concerns about how hauling trucks for airport construction will affect pavement conditions and safety on nearby Imperial Avenue.

"The city of El Segundo is not at war with LAX," said Coby King, a spokesman for the city, in an emailed statement. "Improvements to the airport will bring benefits to everyone, including the residents of El Segundo. But growth at LAX has a direct impact on the city, and we are simply looking to ensure that those impacts are addressed."

King added that the city had been engaged in "cordial, professional and productive" negotiations with the airport over the plan.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the planned overhaul of the two terminals on a 11-0 vote Friday without discussion.

LAX is currently pursuing a $14-billion renovation that includes terminal upgrades, transportation improvements and a new concourse. Airport operators are already facing a lawsuit from a parking operator over another part of the planned renovation, the Landside Access Modernization Project, which is meant to reduce traffic congestion around the busy airport.

Twitter: @LATimesEmily

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