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Report: LAX Modernization Could Create 39K Jobs

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(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A $4 billion modernization effort at LAX could create as many as 39,900 jobs and generate nearly $7 billion for the local economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

The modernization includes a total of 25 projects. The Bradley West project includes construction of airplane taxilanes, airport gates, fencing, noise mitigation and baggage screening facilities. While, the CTA project involves renovations — such as remodeled baggage claim areas, new concession facilities and new escalators — to existing LAX terminals 4, 5, and 6.

“The Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX is the first and last impression 10 million travelers have of Los Angeles every year,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a ribbon-cutting for part of the renovation last May.

“This renovation project improves the travelers’ experience as they pass through LAX, while enhancing passenger safety by reducing congestion in the airline check-in lobbies and on the curbside.”

About 24,500 construction jobs are expected to be created, the project is expected to create opening in manufacturing, real estate, financial services and retail industries.

LAX remains the third-busiest U.S. airport, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

“The timing of this project is fortuitous,” the report states, “both to position the airport to be competitive as a leading global gateway and because the scheduled projects will create an average of 5,500 to 6,000 jobs per year during the construction period.”

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County was more than 12 percent in March, more than double the rate four years ago, according to the state Economic Development Department. The local construction industry alone lost about 56,500 jobs during that period.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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