Construction continues on the new ticketing lobby at Long Beach Airport March 30, 2022. The facility is set to open May 4. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Travelers departing out of Long Beach Airport will begin their journey inside the facility’s new, state-of-the-art ticketing lobby starting May 4, city officials announced today.

The $26 million, 16,700-square-foot building will feature about 30 ticketing kiosks for passengers to check in for their flights. The machines are touchless, a feature particularly poignant as the coronavirus continues to linger after its appearance over two years ago.

The building also will include 21 ticketing counters, which may be utilized by any airline based on demand. This differs from the current ticketing lobby inside the historic terminal building, which are assigned to airlines regardless of demand.

The project is expected to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification, a designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council to projects that address carbon emissions, energy and water efficiency and other environmental and health issues.

Opening in conjunction with the ticketing lobby is a $25.5 million checked baggage inspection system, which was funded primarily by a grant from the Transportation and Security Administration. The 6,545-square-foot facility connects to the new ticketing lobby and will allow TSA to more efficiently screen checked bags, officials said.

The facilities were designed by Culver City-based architecture firm Corgan and constructed by Swinerton Builders.

Ahead of the May opening of the ticketing lobby, the city is hosting an open house for the community Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will include family friendly activities, refreshments, music and tours of the ticketing lobby. Parking is free.

The new facilities are the first two components of the $110 million Phase II Termina Area Improvement Program, which has suffered some delays as a result of the pandemic. While the full multi-project program was originally slated for completion by the end of this year, a new timeline has not been determined.

Work on the third component, a new baggage claim area, is already under construction just north of the historic terminal building, behind the existing baggage claim area. The project, also by Corgan and Swinerton as the contractor, is budgeted at $15 million and is expected to open before the end of the year.

Other projects include a meet-and-greet plaza with concessions and renovations to the historic terminal building that will transform it into a new car rental center and a transportation hub for buses, cabs and rideshares.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Business Journal.