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Groundbreaking Ceremony Launches Construction Of $500-Million Terminal 1 Modernization Program At LAX

The Mayor of the City of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti Throws Ceremonial Earth to Commence Terminal 1 Construction, with Anticipated Completion in 2018

Southwest Airlines ® (NYSE: LUV) helped kick-off construction of the $508-million Terminal 1 Modernization Program at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) recently with a groundbreaking ceremony featuring Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilman Mike Bonin, City Councilman Tom LaBonge, Los Angeles Airport Commission President Sean O. Burton, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey, and Southwest Airlines Vice President of Airport Affairs Bob Montgomery

The modernization of the aging terminal, built in the early 1980s, is expected to transform the entire passenger experience from the curb to the gate, and will include a new 12-lane security screening checkpoint; a fully automated checked-baggage inspection and sortation system; a new and expanded dining and retail collection featuring activated gate hold rooms with lounge-style seating; refurbished arrival/baggage claim area; replacement of the passenger boarding bridges; renovations to airline support office space; modernized aircraft parking/apron pavement and hydrant fueling system; improvements to the building facade; and relocation of the main terminal entrances to the west end of the building to ease traffic congestion.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2018 and will be phased to minimize inconvenience to customers, employees, and guests.

"The Terminal 1 improvement project will bring a better passenger experience and 1,500 construction jobs to LAX," said Mayor Garcetti. "As part of our $7 billion investment in LAX, we're remodeling every terminal and creating 40,000 jobs. Because Los Angeles deserves a world-class airport."

"The partnership we have with Southwest Airlines will create the world-class experience we want for all LAX passengers," LAWA's Lindsey said. "As our passenger base continues to grow and change, we are working hard to increase efficiency and accommodate their needs today and in the future."

"The Modernization of Terminal 1 at LAX has long been in our sights," said Montgomery.  "The renovation within our current space at Terminal 1 will allow us to better serve our customers today as well as provide the opportunity to expand our network options alongside any growth in Customer demand."

When completed, the passenger's journey from curb to aircraft boarding bridge will be transformed and designed to provide a more efficient and exciting travel experience.  By reorganizing the interior uses of the building and shifting the ticketing lobby and main entrances to the west, passenger drop off and pick up areas are anticipated to improve, as well as congestion in front of Terminal 1 reduced.

Once inside the terminal, passengers will enjoy a brightened Southwest Airlines ticketing lobby with sleek design features and additional windows for more natural light. New, more-efficient security screening systems and added lanes are anticipated to shorten federal passenger security screening lines.  

In collaboration with Southwest Airlines and LAWA, the modernized concourse design by Westfield will feature a hip, modern Californian feel that taps into the LA feeling and energy of the Southwest brand.  The design vision forges the unexpected with efficiency, which is expressed through simple but sculptural forms curated with artisanal, creative and fun products, palette and finishes. The design is expected to bring the terminal to life with opened and expanded views to flight operations and inviting sightlines outside, as well as authentic layers of materials and finishes, sculpted facades and pops of color inside.

Westfield's new retail and dining collection in Terminal 1 will offer 24 spaces across 25,242 sq. ft. - nearly double the existing program.  Plans include full-service restaurants along with a variety of casual and grab-and-go food offerings, as well as new high-end retail and traveler essentials. The program will open in a phased approach, with the first Westfield developed spaces scheduled to open late Summer 2015.

"The redevelopment of Terminal 1 is another pivotal milestone in our journey to bring world-class dining, retail, and amenities to the millions of travelers who use LAX as their gateway to the world," said Dominic Lowe, executive vice president Westfield.  "We are thrilled to partner with Southwest Airlines and Los Angeles World Airports to create a uniquely Los Angeles, cutting-edge new environment and passenger experience to rival the world's best airport terminals."

When finished, Terminal 1 will accommodate 13 of the airline's larger Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, with updated passenger boarding bridges, aircraft apron pavement, upgraded hydrant fueling system, and electric-vehicle chargers to support its electric ground service equipment program. 

Southwest Airlines is the only carrier operating out of Terminal 1. In 2013, Southwest was the fourth busiest airline at LAX based on passengers enplaned, serving more than 7.4 million passengers, or 11.1 percent of the airport's total passenger volume.  

The Southwest Airlines Program Team includes AvAirPros ( program manager), ODEMCO ( design manager), PGAL ( design & engineering) and Hensel Phelps Construction Company ( construction manager). The work is part of LAX's $7.3 billion capital improvement program, LAX Is Happening, projected to last through 2019. 

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