airport construction

In progress: LAX new Midfield Satellite Concourse

You can’t say they’re not trying.

Ground has been broken phase one of the new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) at Los Angeles International Airport.

When completed, sometime in late 2019, the $1.6-billion, five-level facility and an associated new baggage system will add 12 new gates, more amenities and greater flexibility for parking aircraft.

Designed as an extension of the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT), the new 750,000-square-foot concourse will be located west of TBIT (the Tom Bradley International Terminal) and connected by a 1,000-foot-long underground pedestrian tunnel with moving walkways.  Buses will also be used to transport passengers between the concourse and other terminals.

Two of the new gates will accommodate the larger Airbus 380 and Boeing 747-8 jets, with the remaining 10 gates accommodating Boeing 777s and 787s, and the Airbus 330s and 350s.

Among a wide range of other new features, the new midfield terminal will be ‘smart’.

According to LAX, flight information displays will include scanners that allow passengers to receive personalized maps on their boarding passes.  Beacon technology will also be in place and will work with a new LAX app on smartphones to help passengers find their way around the concourse and find the concessions and amenities they are interested in – and to help LAX track how passengers use the concourse features.

And, looking forward, LAX says the concourse is being built with future technology enhancements in mind, including automated boarding gates that make use of biometrics, such as facial geometry, fingerprints or iris scanning for identification.

*All images courtesy Corgan in association with Gensler.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport opening date now March 2013

Things seem to be going from bad to worse at the yet-to-open Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport.

(Photo courtesy: Alexander Obst/Marion Schmieding/Berlin Brandenburg Airport)

After announcing that the planned June 3 opening date would be postponed for about three months, yesterday the airport’s supervisory board announced that the opening will now be pushed back until March 17, 2013.

The airport also announced the dismissal of the managing director for operations and construction and termination of the contract with the project management company for the airport.

On May 8, the airport company announced that the planned June 3 opening date for the new airport would be postponed due to a problem with fire safety systems at the airport. They thought they could solve that problem in three months by putting together an interim, partially automated system. But, evidently, that solution won’t work.

The plan now is to complete the fire safety and control system by December 2012 and open the airport once winter – and the potential for more headaches from adverse winter conditions – is over.

According to a statement released today,

“The Supervisory Board …followed the recommendation of the management and decided that all construction work should be completed first before the remaining necessary steps are taken that will allow the airport to commence operations. These steps entail the so-called impact and complex inspection by certified experts, subsequent inspection by the Building Standards Authority, further trial runs, designation of the airport site as a security area, and delivery of goods to storage facilities, shops and restaurants.”