Air travelers will find car rental heaven
in Phoenix and a low-cost carrier haven in Singapore, but theyll be
waiting a while longer for the modernization of Los Angeles
" The Los Angeles
City Council gave final approval Jan. 18 to a legal settlement that
kills an $11 billion modernization and expansion plan for
Los Angeles Airport, capping its growth in favor
of distributing travel demand among several airports in the
The citys new
mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, favors a more modest modernization
plan. He initiated the agreement, which settles lawsuits filed
against the Master Plan by Los Angeles County, three municipalities
and a community group.
settlement, the airport will be required to reduce the number of
gates (it now has 163) to control traffic growth if the annual
passenger count rises above 75 million after 2010. Its at 62
million passengers now.
The city still
will be able to build gates for the new, super-sized A380
Singapore completed construction of an airport
terminal customized for low-cost airlines and plans a March 26
opening for the facility, which may be the first of its kind.
Singapore spent $27.6 million on what it has named Budget Terminal,
hoping to capitalize on a low-cost carrier boom in Asia. By keeping
costs low, it will be able to charge airlines a lower fee than
The terminal does
not include any jet bridges, so travelers will have to walk about
65 feet on the tarmac and use steps to board and disembark from the
aircraft. But the terminal wont be without amenities: its services
will include free Internet access and local phone calls, a free
shuttle to and from nearby Changi Airport, 13 retail outlets
(including two duty-free shops), four food kiosks and a
Sky Harbor Airport opened a center to house 13 car rental
companies and a three-level parking garage with the capacity for
5,600 rental cars.
The airport has a
designated Rental Car Center bus for the five-minute ride to the
facility, which is near two major interstate highways. Airport
officials said the new center will reduce congestion on airport
roadways and confusion at the terminals curbs.
Sky Harbor said
it is the U.S.s third-largest airport car rental market, with more
than a million transactions each year.
reporter Andrew Compart, send e-mail to [email protected].