As a key component of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)’s multi-billion-dollar Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Automated People Mover (APM) is an airport transport system elevated above the current LAX infrastructure connecting airport passengers to airline terminals, a new centralized rental car facility, new pickup and drop-off locations with parking facilities and the LA Metro’s regional transit system. Balfour Beatty is a member of the LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) joint venture awarded a 30-year contract to design, build, operate, maintain and provide some financing for the public-private partnership (P3) project. The LAX APM is LAWA’s first P3 project and the largest contract ever awarded in the history of the City of Los Angeles.
The scope of work includes the design and construction of a 2.25-mile guideway and six APM stations that will operate multiple trains simultaneously and the enhancement of passenger walkways and bridges that will provide a seamless integration of direct circulation to and from the APM stations, platforms, mezzanine level and terminals. Balfour Beatty will also construct the nine-acre Maintenance and Storage Facility (M&SF) designed to maintain and store 11 electric-powered trains that will transport as many as 200 people at a time. Associated work includes demolition, utilities and a parking garage replacement.
The APM system will provide convenience and time-certainty for guests traveling to or from LAX. Driverless trains will arrive at each station every two minutes, with wide doors for luggage, large windows for viewing, seats and plentiful handholds. Station platforms are open-air and light-filled with escalators, elevators and moving walkways for quick, convenient access to the terminals. Architectural features include a viewing platform of the iconic Theme Building, an Experience LA center with an 800-square-footLED programmable screen and an LED light band that accents the guideway. LAWA anticipates that the APM will offer a maximum ridership capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour with up to 85 million passengers per year. The system will be operational in 2023.
Focusing on Sustainability
In addition to reducing traffic-related emissions, the APM will leverage cutting-edge sustainability practices to reduce the airport area’s carbon footprint. The system’s fleet will consist of 44 energy-efficient train cars designed to eliminate hazardous substances and toxic emissions. Featuring state-of-the-art recyclable aluminum shells, these electric-powered cars generate a portion of their own power through regenerative braking while providing an industry-leading ride quality for users. The APM system’s Maintenance and Storage Facility will generate nearly half of its power from a photovoltaic generation system and is designed to be LEED® Gold Certified. These design enhancements allowed the team to offset the carbon equivalent of 12 million vehicle miles driven.
With a commitment to sustainability throughout the project, the APM team is targeting a goal above LAWA’s 75 percent threshold of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills. In addition, early in the project Balfour Beatty engaged with the design team to implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan that would retain stormwater onsite to prevent it from entering the storm drain and flowing into the ocean.
Supporting the Local Economy
The APM team is partnering with LAWA to develop opportunities for local small businesses, create good-paying career jobs and foster economic growth. In addition to engaging a significant number of local, small and disadvantaged business enterprises to deliver the project, the project’s Inclusivity Program focuses on outreach, youth engagement and charitable giving, providing career development opportunities to under-represented stakeholders.
In support of emerging businesses and the local workforce, a combined $585 million has been identified for local, small or disabled veteran-owned businesses, with $85 million committed exclusively to local, small businesses in Los Angeles. The project will create more than 2,000 construction jobs, with at least 30% of those opportunities reserved for residents of Los Angeles as well as highly impacted communities near LAX. Sixty percent of careers during the 25-year operations and maintenance phase are designated for local workers.
An important component of the LINXS Inclusivity Program is the establishment of the LINXS Training Institute of LA. The Institute is comprised of eight learning and opportunity tracks, including mentoring programs, technical and operational support, on-the-job training for all workers, skills assessment and career advancement, professional development and retention, training for the community-at-large, youth engagement and recidivism prevention.
The LAX APM will transform how travelers access LAX. With an iconic design and an innovative approach to relieving traffic congestion within the airport loop, the APM furthers LAWA’s goal of continually improving the experience for LAX guests and creating a world-class, Gold Standard Airport.