Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The new TBIT

Taxiway Sierra, looking north. Lufthansa is at Gate 154, Korean at 152, EVA at 150, and Turkish at 148. Beyond, Malaysian is about to pull into 130.

Last weekend, I got a tour of the newly-opened part of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Naturally, the new part has a new name to go with it: the Villaraigosa Pavilion.

But I digress. From the land side, entry is through this canyon of glass. Ahead, the first of many large video screens. To the right, a seeming wall of water:

The canyon of glass becomes apparent when you look the other way:


You then reach the Villaraigosa Pavilion, with its obligatory placard:

Once you pass through the entryway, you come out into the central shopping area, which is very much like a shopping mall. On your left, the Duty Free shop:

The Duty Free shop has a prime corner location. Here's a look in, from the other side:

On your right is the north wing, with more shops:

The centerpiece of the new pavilion has to be the clock tower:

The clock tower is a square pillar of video screens, with constantly changing graphics. The video graphics on the clock tower are echoed on the large video screens on the east and west walls of the atrium. The screen on the east wall also serves up a schedule of departures:

The west wall has a mosaic of screens:

On the day I visited, most of the shops were still yet to open:


To get to the south wing gate area, you go past the duty free shop and another wall of video panels:

Here's a view looking back toward the atrium. The backsides of the video panels are on the right:

The entry to the south wing gate area, complete with moving walkways:

Right now, only gates on the west side are open. These have even numbers, in sequences that start at the atrium and increase as you progress toward the end of the wings. The south wing gates are 148 through 156. The north end gates are currently 130 through 134. In the photo, you can see Gate 151 on the left. This gate, and the other odd-numbered gates, will be on the east side, and will open once the existing structure has been demolished to make room for them. As of last weekend, the south end of the old TBIT is now closed. Gates 101 through 106 are history:


  1. Wow, can't believe they named the airport after Villaraigosa! I remember him as a rather underwhelming and probably quickly forgotten mayor. Except when you are at the airport obviously...

    1. They named the new hall at the International Terminal because he championed the project. They oftentimes name structures and public works projects after those who led the efforts to have said projects fulfilled. Just like how the International Terminal is named after Mayor Tom Bradley, who was the leader of the cause to give LAX a makeover and large expansion in time for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. So it's not too surprising they named it after Villaraigosa, considering he was leading the way for the Bradley West project to be completed.

  2. Thanks for the pics, looks like a world-class facility!
    I'm sure the VS store will be popular with all the foreign flight attendants!

    YYC Dispatcher

  3. Will the planes still have to be towed in when the east side opens up again, or is there enough room for them to taxi in themselves?

    1. We haven't been told, but the expectation is that they will still have to be towed in because of concerns about jet blast.

  4. @Caroline: They usually name works projects after those who championed them. The Bradley West expansion was Villaraigosa's pet project. Just like how the Tom Bradley International Terminal is named after Tom Bradley, the mayor who led its construction in preparation for the 1984 Olympic Games.