Officials here are expected to unveil a major facelift project for Los Angeles International Airport, which will cost between 2 and 3 billion dollars and include new airlines gates capable of handling superjumbo jets, it was reported Sunday.
The architectural concept for the renovation project is a set of "billowing sails" passing through the airport, which is the fifth busiest in the world, according to local newspaper the Daily Breeze.
"We're looking at one of the most exciting new ways to make the Bradley terminal the true gateway to America," Los Angeles city councilman Bill Rosendahl told the newspaper. "I think the design is futuristic and projects the kind of image that Los Angeles should project."
Rosendahl was referring to the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal, where two entirely new concourses will be built as part of the renovation project.
The renderings were crafted by Denver-based Fentress Architects, which was awarded a 41.5-million-dollar, three-year contract earlier this year. Fentress also designed Denver International Airport, where the roof is adorned with white fiberglass peaks meant to evoke the Rocky Mountains.
City officials boast that the airport project will be the largest public works project in Los Angeles at a time when the United States is struggling through an economic recession.
To get the airlines to agree to the massive bill, the airport must keep construction costs down and mend relations that have frayed due to protracted negotiations over disputed rental rates, according to Frank Clark, executive director of LAXTEC, the agency that represents the international airlines housed in the international terminal.
The airport, which was designed to handle 40 million passengers, served about 62 million last year. Airport officials say that upgrades are needed to improve the long-neglected, dilapidated facility.
The city of Los Angeles has spent more than 250 million dollars developing airport modernization plans since 1984, when the 23rd Summer Olympics were held in the city.