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Hahn's LAX Proposal Is Not Flier-Friendly

July 05, 2002

The biggest losers in Mayor James Hahn's proposal for the future of Los Angeles International Airport will be the passengers themselves ("$9.6-Billion Make-Over for LAX?" July 2). At a time when increased security has lengthened travel times by hours, the provision of centralized yet separate check-in, baggage and terminal facilities will only exacerbate the delays. A people-mover to link the individual terminals and parking is a fine idea, but the lack of seamless or direct access for mass transit is a mistake.

Not only should the Green Line enter the airport directly but a provision for direct access by future high-speed rail should be part of the design. Those who have used airports like Frankfurt International or Charles de Gaulle, or even Portland International Airport, know the convenience of truly integrated mass transit.

Under the LAX airport plan, transit users would exit the Green Line at Aviation Station, take a people-mover to the central check-in facility, take another people-mover, possibly with some bags in tow, to the baggage screening/main terminal area and finally take another people-mover or walk to a terminal entrance. The last leg would be by foot to the actual gate. And you thought it was bad now!

Security is important, but the idea that one's journey from fortress LAX would begin like a slow visit to a prison is not comforting.

John A. Kirchner

Professor of Geography

and Transportation

Cal State L.A.

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