- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Leaders at the Los Angeles International Airport have formally given the go-ahead to a $4 billion plan to build an “automated people mover” that would connect terminals to the region’s rail system.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners unanimously voted Thursday to approve the project, which would take people around the nation’s third-busiest airport, and to and from a new rental car center and to-be-built Metro light rail station about 1.5 miles away.

Next up will be an environmental review, set to begin in January. Construction is targeted to begin early in 2017. The goal is to connect LAX to the region’s growing light rail and subway network before 2024.

Also Thursday, airport commissioners awarded a $961 million contract to design and build a new terminal that will be separate from the rest of LAX’s horseshoe-shaped design. The Midfield Satellite Concourse/North will rise between the current terminals and the airport’s western edge, near the Pacific Ocean.

The project has a total budget of $1.25 billion, with a target finish date of 2020, according to LAX.

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