United plans investments at Los Angeles airport

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United Airlines plans to invest $412.5 million in its terminal facilities at Los Angeles International airport (LAX), following similar plans by its competitors.

Investments will include a new inline checked baggage screening system, new United Club lounge, new jet bridges, improvements to the security checkpoint, upgrades to gate holdrooms, renovations to arrivals and baggage claim areas in terminals 7 and 8 at the airport, according to a Los Angeles World Airports Board of Commissioners documents.

The new United Club in terminal 7 would open by 1 November 2015, after which United's existing lounge in terminal 6 - the former Continental Airlines' lounge - would close.

In addition, the airport operator anticipates up to $25 million in available US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) funding for the baggage screening system.

United's competitors have all embarked on upgrades to their own facilities at LAX. American Airlines is investing more than $30 million in a new connector between terminal 4 and the Tom Bradley international terminal, Delta Air Lines began nearly $230 million in upgrades to terminal 5 in April, and Southwest Airlines received approval from the airport operator for more than $400 million in improvements to terminal 1 in March.

United was the largest carrier at LAX with 18.7% of enplaned passengers in the year ending 31 May, according to US Department of Transportation data. However, American carried 18.5% of the traffic during the period and continues to expand at the airport. Southwest carried 15.9% and Delta 13.7% of traffic.

The airport operator and United also agreed to a new lease for 425,000ft2 (39,484m2) in terminals 6, 7 and 8 through 1 November 2025, as a prerequisite to making the investments, according to the documents. Space in terminal 6 will be removed from the airline's lease in August 2017.