Los Angeles International Airport Automated People Mover

los angeles airport automated people mover night

Los Angeles International Airport Automated People Mover

Designing a Better Trip

The Automated People Mover (APM) train at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will help relieve traffic congestion, reduce emissions and make travel a smoother and simpler process for the airport’s more than 87 million passengers per year.

HDR is the lead designer for the fixed facilities on the $1.95 billion project, being built by the LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) public-private partnership team. The APM is the centerpiece of Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP). It will connect LAX to regional public transportation, provide time-guaranteed access to the terminals and eliminate rental car shuttles, a current source of traffic congestion.

Our scope of work includes final design of 2.25 miles of elevated guideway and five APM stations with associated elevators and escalators, elevated passenger walkway structures with moving walkways between stations and terminals, parking structure improvements, roadway and landscape improvements and a maintenance and storage facility for the system’s electric trains.

Awarded the $4.9 billion public-private partnership (P3) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the APM system for 30 years, LINXS is a fully integrated team made up of Fluor, Balfour Beatty, ACS Infrastructure Development, Dragados USA, Hochtief PPP Solutions, Flatiron and Bombardier Transportation. HDR is the lead designer for the design-build team, partnering with HNTB as design sub-consultant.

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Technical Innovations, Expert Capabilities

The design of the APM includes a number of technical innovations meant to minimize schedule risks and construction impacts. Extensive studies of existing utilities meant guideway columns can be placed in areas where the fewest utilities will need to be relocated and the use of three different guideway construction methods provides flexibility to adapt to specific locations.

HDR’s structural design capabilities in cast-in-place and cast-in-place segmental work mean limited traffic impacts at the fourth busiest airport in the world. We are also providing station architectural design, roadway design, systems design, power distribution design, traffic design and landscape design services. Our deep bench of experts around the country means we can mobilize custom teams to tackle each part of this complex challenge, all while meeting a demanding schedule.

Because the airport is a showcase for the Los Angeles area, a major civic investment and a gateway to the city for tens of millions of people each year, its aesthetics are extremely important to maintain. For example, we did extensive planning to hide conduits inside new columns rather than attach them to the outside, preserving the clean, sleek look that LAWA wanted.

To ensure we’re meeting the rigorous standards and design criteria, our team has made the APM one of the largest building information modeling projects in the nation, with more than 150 design models, created and maintained by more than 300 BIM designers. HDR is responsible for the oversight of the design team and management of the 3D models, which are used in part to present views for approval to multiple departments ahead of construction. The models, from civil utilities through station structures, are also used in 4D phasing and 5D estimating.

A Historic Investment

When operational in 2023, the APM will feature nine trains of four vehicles each, operating in a continuous circulation. Each train will hold up to 200 passengers with luggage and arrive at stations every two minutes during peak periods (9 a.m. to 11 p.m.). LAWA anticipates that the APM will have a peak capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour and up to 87.7 million passengers a year.

The guideway alignment design has been finalized and design of other elements is well underway. Construction began in earnest in fall 2019. In March 2019, a ceremonial groundbreaking took place for the project, presided over by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“The Automated People Mover is a historic investment in our airport and city,” Garcetti said at the ceremony, “and the project’s development moves us closer to delivering the world-class experience travelers expect and deserve."

los angeles airport automated people mover night