Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials were on hand Wednesday to mark the start of a $1.6 billion renovation of Los Angeles International Airport Terminals 4 and 5.

The upgrades projected over the next 15 years by American Airlines include a new vertical circulation core with a connection to the planned automated people mover train, unified passenger check-in and baggage claim areas, improvements to the check-in facilities in Terminal 5, centralization of the terminals’ security screening checkpoint and connecting the terminals on both sides of the building.

“Los Angeles is at a global crossroads — a place where the world comes to meet, innovate and create,” Garcetti said. “American Airlines’ commitment to the reinvention of Terminals 4 and 5 will better connect L.A. to the world, while creating good, middle-class jobs for Angelenos.”

Officials previously said the improvements would be implemented by tearing down the lobby areas of the terminals one section at a time while maintaining normal operations.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker announced the airline’s planned 10-year, $1.6 billion investment in the renovation project last year.

“American has proudly served Los Angeles for more than 70 years,” Parker said. “From the very beginning, when LAX first became a commercial airport in 1946, we’ve played a major role in keeping Southern California connected to the world. This remains one of the most important and fastest-growing markets for American, and today is a tremendous step forward as we continue to grow and strengthen our presence in the city of angels.”

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