LOS ANGELES – Modernizing LAX must be a catalyst for positive action for the broader community, delivering environmental benefits, improving mobility, and supporting airport workers. That’s the thrust of a package of proposals today from Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents neighborhoods around Los Angeles International Airport.
Joined by several of his colleagues, Bonin introduced a series of motions directing Los Angeles World Airports to use the opportunity presented by the pending approval of the multi-billion dollar Airfield & Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP) to achieve long-standing policy goals of the city and the airport.
“LAX modernization will assure we get a world-class airport,” Bonin said. “But it is equally important that we get an airport that is a first-class neighbor and a first-rate employer. We have a tremendous opportunity to make sure the improvements at LAX benefit travelers, people who live near the airport and the employees who make the airport function every day.”
Bonin’s motions seek to do the following:
Reduce Traffic and Improve Transportation – Co-sponsored by Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Bonin’s first motion pushes to create LAWA-operated rideshare, an employee shuttle, and FlyAway services that would be provided at no cost, reduced cost, or subsidized cost to the nearly 50,000 airport-based employees, with the goal of making those services cost-competitive with driving alone in privately owned vehicles. Transportation improvements like those proposed by Bonin’s motion will also reduce traffic congestion for nearby Westchester/Playa residents and improve air quality by preventing pollution. This effort builds off of ongoing efforts by Bonin to reduce traffic at the airport.
Address the Climate Crisis – Co-sponsored by Councilmember Paul Krekorian, the second motion calls on LAWA to report to the City Council on ways LA’s airports can achieve carbon-neutral facilities by 2035. The report will include information about the opportunities to generate clean power on land owned by LAWA at properties near LAX and in Van Nuys and Palmdale, as well as on efforts to increase the use of aviation fuels that pollute less, and on efforts to electrify ground-based vehicles at the airport, further reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
Protect and Support Workers – Co-sponsored by Council President Nury Martinez, and Councilmembers Kevin De León, and Monica Rodriguez, the third motion calls for LAWA and representatives of airport workers to enter a formal agreement for enhanced enforcement of worker protections, better and more affordable transportation options for airport workers, better monitoring of air quality, and a faster transition to zero-emission vehicles to address long-standing environmental justice issues for nearby communities.
The Airfield & Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP), the result of a landmark settlement agreement that Councilmember Bonin brokered between LAX and airport neighbors, will improve runway safety on the north airfield at LAX, relocate a number of gates, improve terminal facilities for passengers, and make a series of roadway improvements to ease traffic and access to the airport. The project, with additional traffic mitigation measures backed by Bonin, has won the support of the Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa,
Bonin’s motions seek to build on the ATMP project, and make it more impactful and beneficial for the wider community, including neighbors and employees.
“As a nearby resident and worker at LAX, I want to make sure that city leaders work with community members to ensure that this project does not disproportionately affect working families,” said Jovan Houston, an employee at LAX who also lives near the airport. “For far too long, Black and Brown communities have paid a high toll and our quality of life and health have suffered. We look forward to working with the LA city council, to ensure that we protect the health and environment of working-class communities, make public transit safe, affordable and accessible, and guarantee that any jobs that come from this project are good jobs that help all people in Los Angeles thrive.”
The ATMP is currently in the final stages of its review process and will be considered by the Los Angeles City Council for approval this fall. The $6 billion project will create more than 5,000 jobs during construction, and will additionally create more permanent employment opportunities at new concession areas added through the improvements.
This modernization effort is being undertaken in concert with the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), the game-changing effort to improve how people get to and from the airport. LAMP is adding a new automated people-mover elevated tram that will connect to a new intermodal transportation facility, a consolidated rental car center and the new Metro station that will open soon. The modernization efforts will not just change how people get to and from the airport, but by taking cars off the road, these improvements will prevent air pollution and airport traffic from the roads of Westchester and Playa del Rey.
Bonin’s motions were referred to the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee.
For more information about ATMP, please visit https://www.lawa.org/atmp/.