In recent airport developments, Los Angeles officials gave a green light to a couple of major projects on LAX’s north side; New York officials did the same for Delta’s LaGuardia reconstruction; JetBlue wants to expand its presence at New York JFK; ; CLEAR expands to another key Delta airport; Dallas/Ft. Worth is getting a facility you rarely find at an airport; and Boston gets a new passenger lounge.
The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has voted to approve two major projects for the three terminals on the north side of LAX – work which will take several years. The first gives Delta the green light to proceed with a [much needed!] major overhaul of its new home in Terminals 2 and 3, as well as construction of a post-security connector to the Bradley International Terminal. The multi-billion-dollar T2/T3 project involves upgrades to the T2 concourse, and the demolition and rebuilding of the T3 concourse building, the southern portions of the T3 satellite, and the ticketing and baggage processing facilities. Commissioners also approved plans to build a so-called Terminal 1.5, a $490 million, six-level structure that will link T1 and T2 and will give Southwest Airlines more space at the airport for things like ticket counters, baggage claims and security screening. An airport official said these projects are “two of the keys to eventually connecting the entire airport beyond the security checkpoints.”
In New York, meanwhile, the Port Authority’s board of commissioners has signed off on a new lease agreement for Delta at LaGuardia Airport that clears the way for the airline’s planned new 37-gate facility that represents the last piece of the airport’s massive, years-long reconstruction. Delta said work on its new $4 billion home at LGA will start in a matter of weeks. Construction started last year on other phases of the LGA rebuilding, which will give the airport new roadways and will move everything closer to the Grand Central Parkway. Delta said its new facility will use “flexibly sized gates” that can accommodate all the aircraft types in its fleet; the new terminal will have four concourses linked by a central check-in lobby, security checkpoint and baggage claim area. Concourses will be wider than the existing ones at LGA, and the Delta facility will provide 30 percent more space for concessions along with a new Delta Sky Club with a Sky Deck. (Now if Delta could only add nonstops between California and LGA!)
Over at New York’s JFK Airport, meanwhile, JetBlue said it is seeking Port Authority permission for a substantial expansion of its passenger facilities. JetBlue wants to grow beyond its current Terminal 5 home by developing new facilities on the empty space that used to be occupied by Terminal 6, which was demolished in 2011, and possibly redeveloping Terminal 7 (currently used by British Airways) as well. The airline said its JFK expansion plan would include “the addition of international gates for JetBlue and partner airlines” (is this another clue that JetBlue has transatlantic aspirations?), and would provide a “seamless connection to T5 and throughout the new facilities both on the landside and on the airside.”
The latest airport to add CLEAR biometric screening lanes is Salt Lake City, which means that “23 of the busiest airports where Delta flies now feature CLEAR service,” the airline said. Delta is a part owner of CLEAR and has made it a priority to expand the service to its hub airports. Members of Delta’s SkyMiles program are offered membership discounts in CLEAR ($99 a year for general members, $79 for most elites and free for Diamond Medallions), which relies on biometric technology to verify members’ identities and lets them bypass the usual TSA lines to passenger screening.
You don’t often see a health clinic and pharmacy in an airport, but you will soon at Dallas/Ft. Worth. Code 3 Construction, a Texas-based company that specializes in these facilities, says construction is “well under way” on an Urgent Care Center and pharmacy in DFW’s Terminal D, to serve both passengers and airport employees. With four patient exam rooms and on-site x-ray and lab facilities, “It will provide convenient and superior treatment for acute illnesses such as dehydration, colds and flu, respiratory infections, lacerations, sprains and strains, work-related injuries and more,” the company said. Code 3 Construction will follow up the in-terminal facility by building an emergency room and urgent care facility in DFW’s Southgate Plaza, to treat more serious ailments and to provide 24-hour care.
Emirates is celebrating the grand opening of its 41st airport lounge, this one at Boston Logan. Located on the upper level of Terminal E overlooking Gate E-11, the $6.7 million Emirates lounge can accommodate up to 123 persons. It’s available to Emirates first class and business class passengers as well as Gold and Platinum members of its Skywards loyalty program. The new lounge has showers, a business center, free Wi-Fi, bar service, and a free hot and cold buffet. Passengers will be able to board their aircraft directly from the lounge, Emirates noted.
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