The effort follows a just-completed $14-million upgrade of concessions, especially food facilities, in that terminal. Commissioners also plan to increase by about 20% the space devoted to international passengers who are passing through LAX without clearing customs. Overall, LAX figures show, the international terminal, designed in 1984 to accommodate 6.8 million passengers yearly, now handles about 13 million.
Meanwhile, American Airlines has been advancing some long-standing plans for major expansion and renovation of its Terminal 4 facilities, which handled 6.3 million passengers in 1996. The airline's proposal, which has long been in the works, still needs approval from airport officials, and the short-term timetable is unclear. But the American plans call for a face-lift similar to the United project: $200 million in improvements over the next three to five years. Airport officials say smaller improvements at Terminal 4, such as upgrades of water pipes and other utility work, are scheduled to begin in April.