Rendering of the ConRAC Facility at night.
Mayor Eric Garcetti broke ground Sept. 12 on the Consolidated Rent-A-Car (ConRAC) facility at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which will centralize rental car operations into one convenient location and offer a direct connection to the upcoming Automated People Mover (APM) train. The Mayor was joined at the ceremony by Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) President Sean Burton, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) CEO Deborah Flint, as well as community and labor leaders.
"We are building the world-class airport travelers need and deserve — and the Consolidated Rent-A-Car facility groundbreaking demonstrates how we're keeping this promise," said Garcetti. "Our city is doing so much more than building a parking structure — we are making an investment that will improve the traveling experience, reduce congestion in surrounding neighborhoods and create middle-class careers for years to come."
The 5.3-million sq. ft. ConRAC facility will feature 18,000 parking stalls with 6,600 ready/return spaces, 10,000 idle vehicle storage spaces and 1,100 rental car employee spaces as well as visitor parking. A Quick-Turn Around facility also will be on site, allowing for fueling, washing and light maintenance of rental car vehicles.
Reducing congestion at LAX — as well as in surrounding communities — is at the heart of the ConRAC project. The consolidated facility will completely remove rental car shuttle traffic from the Central Terminal Area (CTA), which equates to 3,200 shuttle trips per day. The removal of the shuttles will improve traffic on the roadways and free up critical curbside boarding space in the CTA.
"This is a big step toward LAX becoming a world-class airport for travelers and a first-class neighbor to Westchester and Playa del Rey," said Bonin.
"This has been a momentous year for LAX," said Buscaino. "LAX continues to move full steam ahead with its $14 billion investment to create a fully transformed airport of the future. The ConRAC is just one of the many groundbreakings held this year which highlight the efforts LAX is making to improve passenger experience which increases tourism and improves our local economy."
The facility will be built with an eye to the future and designed to accommodate new and emerging vehicle types such as autonomous vehicles. Additionally, movable concrete barriers will allow for the quick reallocation of space as rental car companies' market shares shift.
The ConRAC is an important component of the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP), which also includes an Automated People Mover train that will connect travelers directly to airport terminals and create new and convenient locations for passenger pick-up and drop-off outside the Central Terminal Area. Once completed in 2023, the APM will connect with L.A. Metro's light rail system.
"The ConRAC Facility will provide a rental car experience worthy of a world-class airport," said BOAC President Sean Burton. "This project doesn't just benefit those renting cars — it benefits the local economy and community through the creation of 1,000 jobs and by relieving vehicle congestion on the roads in and around LAX."
"We are future-proofing everything we build at LAX," said Flint. "Every project under construction or on the drawing board will meet our needs now and be capable of adapting to new technology and demands. The ConRAC Facility is a prime example of how to future-proof so we can protect our investments."
On Oct. 26, 2018, the Los Angeles City Council approved an approximately $2 billion public-private partnership between LAWA and LAX ConRAC Partners (LAXCP), with LAXCP designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the facility for a 28-year period. LAXCP has committed to 30 percent local hiring, which exceeds local hiring requirements, and together with LAWA is developing opportunities for local small businesses. LAXCP also has agreed to sponsor 100 new, local apprentices and feature all-union labor on the ConRAC facility.
"Collectively, the LAXCP team has extensive experience designing, building and operating nearly 30 ConRACs domestically and internationally," said LAXCP Project Executive Karl Schaefer. "We are proud to use our shared know-how to help LAWA create a top tier experience for the traveling public at LAX while we honor our commitment to provide local hire economic opportunities and environmental sustainability."
Mayor Garcetti has made sustainability a priority of his administration. The ConRAC facility is designed to reflect Los Angeles' standing as one of the world's leading sustainable cities and will include native drought-tolerant landscaping, reclaimed water usage, more than 200 Level 2 electric vehicle chargers and a solar farm generating more than 8,400 megawatt hours annually.