Airport Business

DEC 2018-JAN 2019

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Page 38 of 43

December 2018/January 2019 airportbusiness 39 TERMINAL PLANNING consolidation of three existing passenger security screening locations into one. The new screening area is located to allow passengers to access the area directly from the check-in lobbies and provides for 12 security lanes in a common location. HNTB looked to the future when designing the security area knowing that electrical and communication needs would change with new security screening equipment. The new checkpoint already had been designed and was under construction when United decided it wanted to use a new TSA security processing system being rolled out in the United States. Working closely with TSA officials, HNTB modified the screening area’s infrastructure design to meet the new data and power requirements. This first-of-a-kind system at LAX improves the process for passengers to place articles in bins and eliminates the need for TSA staff to handle bins, thus speeding up passenger processing. Because of its success at LAX, United plans to adopt the system at all its U.S. hubs. The project also provides high-end, high-touch check-in for United’s Premier and Global Services passengers and a new 18,000-square-foot United Club featuring an exterior club terrace with great airport and city views for guests. The Design HNTB and its associate architect, Krueck + Sexton Architects, developed a design vision, “United by Light,” that would use light, materials and scale to provide more open and inviting spaces to enhance the passenger experience. “Terminals 7 and 8 is one of the first built projects to utilize the LAX Design Guidelines which heightens the passenger experience and visual quality. The design is modern and intuitive,” said Tony Gonzales, AIA, LEED AP and Los Angeles studio leader who served United as principal in charge. We approached the design to integrate with LAX’s Mid Century Modern roots, the place identity of Los Angeles and the United Airlines brand.” The transformation included an increased level of customer service and changes to circulation routes, escalators and elevators for more efficient passenger flow for both departing and arriving passengers. The inbound baggage area process has been renovated to provide improved inbound baggage drops. Baggage claim has been fully renovated with new claim devices and greatly improved circulation and visibility to assist passengers in claiming their baggage. The team also renovated or replaced the building mechanical, structural, electrical and support systems to provide a more efficient and sustainable built environment. While building code requires seismic retrofitting in significant construction, upgrading existing connections to current code standards would have been a significant undertaking with substantial cost and disruption to ongoing building operations during construction. Working with the structural engineer, John A. Martin and Associates, the design team developed a solution for upgrading the building to current code standards while avoiding the customary difficulties associated with existing frames. New moment frames were designed that utilize new and existing columns. The selected strategy resulted in a renovated building that is code compliant to current standards but avoided the cost and construction difficulties commonly associated with retrofitting similarly aged buildings. A high level of scrutiny from the city of Los Angeles Design Commission resulted in an iterative design approach to respond to their requirements, expectations and comments. The final design solution resolved their concerns with optimal performance for both efficiency and construction methodology. The Execution LAX’s operational environment meant that the project team had to demolish and build the terminal enhancements amongst active passengers, security and safety concerns, United’s on-going operations, and the 24/7 needs of an active major-hub airport. To successfully deliver in this environment, the team developed a phased construction methodology working with a myriad of stakeholders, including United, Los Angeles World Airports, City of Los Angeles, inspectors, and contractors. HNTB implemented weekly meetings with the stakeholders along with construction phasing exhibits that addressed the ability to maintain life safety and code compliance during construction for that zone or area. HNTB provided an on-site design team that was co-located with the owner, program manager and construction manager at risk to facilitate efficient communication during the design process and construction. The United project office was located across the street from the airport to provide immediate response to any construction related issues or emergencies. To successfully navigate LAX’s complex design review process, HNTB’s principal in charge and project manager provided hands-on design leadership during the process. The result is a cohesive and efficient Los Angeles travel experience for United Airlines’ passengers. Two renovated terminals accommodate 24 narrow-body and wide-body aircraft gates. The project also provides space for new concessions and restaurants at high traffic areas and points of connection to maximize revenue. United continues to implement a variety of enhancements that will create a brighter, more open United experience at Los Angeles International Airport and elevate the overall passenger experience. The project uses new state-of-the-art technologies for passenger check-in and at the departure hold rooms to minimize wait and boarding time. Krueck& Sexton architects, courtesy of HNTB ABOUT THE AUTHOR Allen W. Berentes, RA NCARB HNTB Corporation Allen W. Berentes, RA NCARB serves as associate vice president and aviation studio leader at HNTB Corporation, a national infrastructure solutions firm. He specializes in airport terminal architectural planning and design and airport master planning. Berentes has worked with Los Angeles International Airport for three decades, including 10 years as project manager on the Tom Bradley International Terminal modernization project. Contact him at

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