A $477.5 million extension of LAX’s Terminal 1 opened Friday as part of the airport’s $14.5 billion modernization efforts.

“LAX is in the midst of a once-in-a-generation transformation that will help redefine 21st century travel, restart our economy and reshape how Los Angeles greets the world,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the extension’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. “When it comes to investments and innovation, our airport is in a league of its own — and with the introduction of Terminal 1.5, LAX is completing another leg in its journey toward a stronger future.”

The project, which extended the terminal by 283,000 square feet, connects the terminal to a pedestrian walkway that will take travelers to the future Automated People Mover’s Central Terminal Area station. The extension also added new features, including two new baggage carousels on the Arrivals level, additional ticket counters on the departures level, a six-lane Transportation Security Administration checkpoint inside the Concourse and a dedicated airfield shuttle that will run between the terminal and the Tom Bradley International Airport’s West Gates building, which opened on May 24. The shuttle will take passengers to their flights in 10 minutes or less.

“The expanded Terminal 1 will not only improve the passenger experience at LAX by providing a seamless connection to Terminal 2, the Automated People Mover and the regional rail system, but will also create a priceless first impression for thousands of annual visitors who will travel through a bright, modern and futuristic facility with stunning architecture, public art and sculpture,’ said Councilman Joe Buscaino.

“This project, along with the entire LAX modernization program, will ensure Los Angeles is ready to welcome passengers from across the globe to major events on the horizon, like the Super Bowl, the World Cup and the Olympics.”

The extension will also connect the terminal to Terminal 2 behind security once the terminal connector is complete in the fall, officials said. Travelers will be able to move between the two buildings without needing to go through security again.

“The new portion of Terminal 1 works together with the recent renovations to create a cohesive experience for passengers, and also meets LAWA’s responsibility to be a sustainability leader in the aviation industry,” said Sean Burton, President, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. “With environmentally conscious features that helped earn (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, this facility showcases LAWA’s vision of boldly moving to zero.”

The extension’s opening was the second modernization project to be completed in less than two weeks, when the $1.73 billion West Gates building opened. That building, adjacent to the Tom Bradley International Terminal, is capable of serving up to 15 aircraft, both international and domestic.

“Over the past two weeks, two of these state-of-the-art facilities have opened, setting the stage for the new LAX we have promised, and are now delivering,” Los Angeles World Airports CEO Justin Erbacci said.

The $14.6 billion modernization project is the largest airport project of its kind in the U.S., officials said. The project includes a 2.25-mile Automated People Mover train system with six total stations — three inside the Central Terminal Area and three outside the CTA, which will connect the rain system to L.A. Metro and a car rental facility. Officials expect the system will be ready for passengers in 2023.

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