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Los Angeles International Airport

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Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport Aerial Photo.jpg
WMO: 72295
Airport type Public
Owner City of Los Angeles
Operator Los Angeles World Airports
Serves Greater Los Angeles Area
Location Los Angeles, California
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 128 ft / 39 m
Coordinates 33°56′33″N 118°24′29″W / 33.94250°N 118.40806°W / 33.94250; -118.40806Coordinates: 33°56′33″N 118°24′29″W / 33.94250°N 118.40806°W / 33.94250; -118.40806
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
LAX is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
LAX is located in California
LAX is located in USA
Location within the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Direction Length Surface
ft m
6L/24R 8,926 2,721 Concrete
6R/24L 10,285 3,135 Concrete
7L/25R 12,091 3,685 Concrete
7R/25L 11,095 3,382 Concrete
Passengers (2015) 74,937,004
Aircraft operations (2015) 655,564
Economic impact (2012) $14.9 billion[2]
Social impact (2012) 133.9 thousand[2]

Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAXICAO: KLAXFAA LID: LAX) is the largest and busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the state of California, as well as being one of the largest international airports in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually. LAX is located in the southwestern Los Angeles area along the Pacific Ocean between the neighborhood of Westchester to its immediate north and the city of El Segundo to its immediate south. It is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the Los Angeles city government formerly known as the Department of Airports.

In 2015, LAX handled 74,936,256 passengers, an increase of 6 percent from the previous year,[6] making it the seventh busiest airport by passenger traffic in the world. The airport holds the claim for "the world's busiest origin and destination (O & D) airport," and has for many years. The airport also was the third busiest in the world by aircraft movements. Furthermore, it is also the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic.[7]

While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, other airports, including Bob Hope Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, and LA/Ontario International Airport, also serve the region. It is also notable for being one of the few U.S. airports with four parallel runways.

LAX serves as a hub for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines,[1] United Airlines, and Virgin America. The airport serves as a focus city for Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Volaris. LAX serves as either a hub or focus city for more Mainline US Carriers than any other airport in the Country and is the only airport that all three legacy carriers have designated a hub.

As the largest international airport on the U.S. West Coast, LAX is a major gateway to and from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. With its deep connections to Asia and Latin America in particular, LAX is considered to be the premier "Gateway to the Pacific Rim."[8]


Los Angeles Municipal Airport on Army Day, c. 1931
Hangar No. 1 was the first structure at LAX, built in 1929, restored in 1990 and remaining in active use.[9]
Los Angeles International Airport with Marina Del Rey in the foreground and Palos Verdes Peninsula in the background

In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres (1.00 sq mi; 260 ha) in the southern part of Westchester for a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any terminal buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal.[10] The first structure, Hangar No. 1, was erected in 1929 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.[11]

Mines Field opened as the airport of Los Angeles in 1930 and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name became Los Angeles Airport in 1941 and Los Angeles International Airport in 1949.[12] In the 1930s the main airline airports were Burbank Airport (then known as Union Air Terminal, and later Lockheed) in Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. (In 1940 the airlines were all at Burbank except for Mexicana's three departures a week from Glendale; in late 1946 most airline flights moved to LAX, but Burbank always retained a few.)[13]

Mines Field did not extend west of Sepulveda Boulevard;[14] Sepulveda was rerouted circa 1950 to loop around the west ends of the extended east–west runways (now runways 25L and 25R), which by November 1950 were 6,000 feet (1,800 m) long.[15] A tunnel was completed in 1953 allowing Sepulveda Boulevard to revert to straight and pass beneath the two runways; it was the first tunnel of its kind. For the next few years the two runways were 8,500 feet (2,600 m) long.[12][16]

The "X" in LAX[edit]

Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather stations at the airports. At that time, "LA" served as the designation for Los Angeles Airport. But with the rapid growth in the aviation industry the designations expanded to three letters c. 1947, and "LA" became "LAX." The letter "X" has no specific meaning in this identifier.[17] "LAX" is also used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

Aircraft spotting[edit]

Southwest Airlines plane landing, as seen from Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester

The "Imperial Hill" area (also known as Clutter's Park) in El Segundo is a prime location for aircraft spotting. Another popular spotting location sits under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger on Sepulveda Boulevard. This is one of the few remaining locations in Southern California from which spotters may watch such a wide variety of low-flying commercial airliners from directly underneath a flight path.

Space Shuttle Endeavour[edit]

At 12:51 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2012, a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at LAX on runway 25L.[18] An estimated 10,000 people saw the shuttle land. Interstate 105 was backed up for miles at a standstill. Imperial Highway was shut down for spectators. It was quickly taken off the Boeing 747 and was moved to a United Airlines hangar. The shuttle spent about a month in the hangar while it was prepared to be transported the California Science Center.

Theme Building[edit]

Main article: Theme Building

The distinctive white googie "Theme Building", designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961 by Robert E. McKee Construction Co., resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A restaurant with a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two arches that form the legs. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1992. A $4 million renovation, with retro-futuristic interior and electric lighting designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, was completed before the "Encounter Restaurant" opened there in 1997.[19] Visitors are able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", which closed after the September 11, 2001 attacks for security reasons and reopened to the public on weekends beginning on July 10, 2010.[20] Additionally, a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks is located on the grounds, as three of the four hijacked planes were originally destined for LAX.[21]


A terminal map of LAX

LAX has nine passenger terminals arranged in the shape of the letter U or a horseshoe. The terminals are served by a shuttle bus. Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are all connected airside via an underground tunnel between Terminals 4, 5 and 6 and above-ground walkways between Terminals 6, 7, and 8. An additional airside shuttle bus operates among Terminals 4, 6, and the American Eagle remote terminal. There are no physical airside connections between any of the other terminals.

In addition to these terminals, there are 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) of cargo facilities at LAX, and a heliport operated by Bravo Aviation. Qantas[22] has a maintenance facility at LAX, even though it is not a hub.

Inter-terminal connections between terminals 1, 2, and 3, and between them and the other terminals, require passengers to exit security, then walk or use a shuttle-bus to get to the other terminal, then re-clear security. Terminals 4-8, which comprise the south terminal complex, provide airside connections, which allow connecting passengers to access other terminals without having to re-clear security. The following airside connections are possible:[23]

Terminals TBIT (Tom Bradley International Terminal), 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 have airside connection.

Terminals 4, 5 and 6 are connected via an airside underground walkway. At Terminal 6 passengers can transfer from the above ground terminal walkway to the underground walkway to access Terminals 4, 5 and 6.

Terminals 6, 7, and 8 are all connected airside via walking corridors at the same level as the terminal, allowing passengers a seamless connection (International arriving passengers must clear Customs, and then security, on a lower level first).

Some airlines provide an airside shuttle bus connection between terminals. For example, Qantas offers a late afternoon/evening shuttle bus for passengers arriving in Terminal 4 to connect with flights departing from the Tom Bradley International Terminal.[24]

Beginning February 25, 2016, an additional airside corridor became available from Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. This will allow airside connections from Terminals 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. An additional security checkpoint will be available in this connector to allow passengers to enter Terminal 4 after arriving on an international arrival in the Tom Bradley Terminal avoiding the main Terminal 4 security screening area, also allowing easier connections to Terminal 5, 6, 7 and 8.[25]

Terminal 1[edit]

Terminal 1 has 15 gates: Gates 9, 10, 11A-11B, 12A-12B, 13-15, 16A-16B, 17A-17B, and 18A-18B, and houses Southwest Airlines. Terminal 1 was built in 1984. Terminal 1 is presently undergoing an extensive renovation financed by Southwest Airlines. This renovation will continue through 2018 and provide updates to security screening area, curbside dropoff, terminal areas and baggage handling.[26] Former tenants of the terminal include AirTran Airways, America West Airlines and US Airways.

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 has 11 gates: Gates 21–21B, 22–22B, 23, 24–24B, and 25–28. It hosts most foreign airlines not using the Tom Bradley International Terminal including: Aer Lingus, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Avianca, Dynamic Airways, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Interjet, Qatar Airways, Sun Country Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Volaris, WestJet and XL Airways France.[27]

Terminal 2 was built in 1962, and was the original international terminal. It was completely torn down and rebuilt in stages between 1984 and 1988 at a cost of US$94 million.[28] The rebuilt terminal was designed by Leo A Daly.[29] Terminal 2 has CBP (Customs and Border Protection) facilities to process arriving international passengers.

Former tenants of the terminal include Northwest Airlines, and Pan American World Airways. Both Southwest Airlines and Virgin America use Terminal 2 for their international arrivals.

Terminal 3[edit]

Terminal 3 is served by ultra low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines

Terminal 3 has 12 gates: Gates 30, 31A–31B, 32, 33A–33B, 34–36, 37A–37B, and 38 (gate 39 was removed to make room for Virgin Australia Boeing 777 operations at gate 38). Terminal 3 opened in 1961 and was Trans World Airlines' terminal. The terminal was expanded in 1970 to accommodate widebody operations and between 1980 and 1987, which included a new passenger connector building and baggage system connected to the original satellite.[30] It formerly housed some American Airlines flights after that airline acquired Reno Air and TWA in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Eventually, all American flights were moved to Terminal 4. As of July 2015, Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, and Virgin America use Terminal 3.

Terminal 4[edit]

Interior view of Terminal 4

Terminal 4 has 16 gates: Gates 40–41, 42A–42B, 43–45 (Gate 44 is for the terminal transfer buses), 46A–46C, 47A–47B, 48A–48B, and 49A-49B and houses American Airlines flights. Terminal 4 was built in 1961, was expanded in 1983 by adding a connector from the ticketing areas to the original satellite,[30] and was renovated in 2002 at a cost of $400 million in order to improve the appearance and functionality of the facility. The renovation was designed by Rivers & Christian.[31] An international arrivals facility was also added as part of the renovations but this has been closed due to staffing shortages. Currently American Airlines International flights arrive Terminal 4 and TBIT but passengers disembark via stairs onto buses that travel directly to Tom Bradley International Terminal arrivals.[32] Some international departures operate at TBIT.

American Airlines and American Eagle have more gates than any other airline at LAX, with 24 (American Airlines operates from 33 gates in total, including 9 gates at the American Eagle satellite terminal, 4 dedicated gates at Terminal 6, as well as 4 rotating gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal).

Terminal 5[edit]

Terminal 5 has 15 gates: Gates 50A–50B, 51A–51B, 52A–52B, 53A–53B, 54A–54B, 55A, 56–57, 58, and 59, and is used for Delta Air Lines flights. Western Airlines occupied this terminal at its opening in 1962, and continued to do so until Western was merged with Delta on April 1, 1987. Terminal 5 was redesigned by Gensler,[33] expanded to include a connector building between the original satellite and the ticketing facilities and remodeled from 1986 through early 1988. It was unofficially named 'Delta's Oasis at LAX' with the slogan 'Take Five at LAX' when construction was completed in the summer of 1988. Northwest Airlines moved all operations to Terminal 5 and Terminal 6 alongside Delta on June 30, 2009, as part of its merger with the airline. The terminal has a customs area in the arrivals floor, used for international flights served by Delta Air Lines.

Delta will be relocating to Terminals 2 and 3 between January 2017 and December 2018.[34]

Terminal 6[edit]

A Virgin America Airbus A319 at Terminal 6 prior to the airline's move to Terminal 3

Terminal 6 has 14 gates: Gates 60–63, (Gates 60A-60I are located at the American Eagle satellite terminal), 64A–64B, 65A-65B, 66, 67, 68A–68B, and 69A–69B. Parts of this terminal have changed little from its opening in 1961; in 1970, new gates were expanded from the main building, as is obvious from the rotunda at the end. Four of these gates have two jetways, which can accommodate large aircraft. An expansion of the terminal, including a connector of the original satellite to the ticketing areas, was completed in 1987.[35]

Terminal 6 is currently used by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Great Lakes Airlines.

Continental Airlines originally built the Connector Building (which links the Ticketing and rotunda buildings). Prior to October 2014, United Airlines used the connector gates, supplementing its base at Terminal 7. Delta also leases some space from the Airport in Terminal 6, in addition to its base at Terminal 5. Most of the rotunda gates can feed arriving passengers into a sterile corridor that shunts them to Terminal 7's customs and immigration facility.

In April 2011, Alaska Airlines agreed to a deal with Los Angeles World Airports to renovate Terminal 6 and build an Alaska Airlines Board Room Lounge. The airline moved its flights to Terminal 6 on March 20, 2012, and Spirit Airlines was relocated to Terminal 3.[36]

American Eagle flights operate from a satellite terminal that is located just east of Terminal 8. This terminal has 9 gates that supplement the 4 mainline gates at Terminal 6.

Former tenants of the terminal include Continental Airlines until its merger with United Airlines in 2011 and Eastern Air Lines, which went bankrupt in 1991. The terminal also originally housed Pacific Southwest Airlines.

Terminal 7[edit]

Check in area at LAX Terminal 7

Terminal 7 has 11 gates: Gates 70A-70B, 71A-71B, 72, 73, 74, 75A-75B, 76, and 77. This terminal opened in 1962 and was expanded to accommodate widebody aircraft in 1970.[35] The terminal was expanded in 1982 with the addition of a connector building, which today compromises of gates 70A-70B and 71A-71B.[35] Four of these gates have two jetways, which accommodate large aircraft. Terminal 7 is used for United Airlines' domestic and international operations. The interior of the terminal was renovated between January 1998 and June 1999 at a cost of $250 million, was designed by HNTB, and was constructed by Hensel Phelps Construction. Added were new gate podiums, increased size of gate areas, relocated concessions, expanded restrooms, new flooring, and new signage.[37] Also, the roof of the terminal was raised, and new, brighter light fixtures were added in order to provide more overall lighting.[38] As of 2012, Terminal 7 is undergoing another facelift, with significant changes to concessions. The terminal also contains a United Club and an International First Class Lounge. The terminal has a customs area located on the arrivals floor, used by international flights served by United Airlines.

Terminal 8[edit]

Terminal 8 has 9 gates: Gates 80–88. This terminal was originally constructed in 1961 as Concourse 8 and was redeveloped in 1982 and renamed Terminal 8.[35] The terminal formerly served Shuttle by United flights. At one point, only United Express flights arrived and departed from Terminal 8. Non-United Express flights arrived and departed from Terminals 6 and 7, Terminal 8 is now used once again for some mainline flights.

A view of Terminal 8 and the surrounding vicinity including the air traffic control tower and the Theme Building

Tom Bradley International Terminal[edit]

Not to be confused with Bradley International Airport, which serves Hartford, Connecticut.
Tom Bradley International Terminal
Tom Bradley International Terminal in the early morning
Check-in counters in the Tom Bradley International Terminal
Moving walkways inside the new south concourse of the Tom Bradley West terminal. The separated arrivals walkway on the second floor leads directly to U.S. Customs

The Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) has 18 gates; nine on the north concourse and nine on the south concourse. Each gate is equipped with a Safegate Advanced – Visual Docking Guidance System. In addition, there are nine satellite gates for international flights located on the west side of LAX. Passengers are ferried to the west side gates by bus. The terminal exclusively hosts most of the major international airlines, with the exception of those housed in Terminal 2.

This terminal opened for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games and is named for Tom Bradley, the first African-American and longest-serving (20 years) mayor of Los Angeles, and champion of LAX. The terminal is located at the west end of the passenger terminal area between Terminals 3 and 4. Tom Bradley International Terminal hosts 29 airlines and handles 10 million passengers per year.

In 2010, modernization efforts resulted in additional space for inline baggage screening, three large alliance-aligned lounges plus one unaffiliated lounge (to replace the multiple airline specific lounges) and cosmetic upgrades in the departures and arrivals areas.

On November 17, 2008, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled design concepts for LAX's Bradley West and Midfield Concourse projects. Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), along with city officials, selected Fentress Architects in association with HNTB to develop a design concept for the modernization of LAX. The emphasis of the modernization is to improve the passenger experience and to keep Los Angeles competitive with other global cities.

On February 22, 2010, construction began on the $1.5 billion Bradley West project, part of the multi-year $4.11 billion LAX improvement and redevelopment projects. The project added over 1,250,000 square feet (116,000 m2) of shops, restaurants, and passenger lounges, as well as new security screening, customs, immigration, and baggage claim facilities. The terminal's existing two concourses will be demolished and replaced with a larger pair with 18 gates, nine of which will be able to accommodate the Airbus A380. The terminal opened in phases beginning on September 2012, and was completed in 2014.[39]

On September 18, 2013, the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX officially opened. Airlines started to use the new, smarter gates that can handle larger aircraft, with multiple gates configured for the Airbus A380. Inside, Southern California scenes and eccentric videos are played on seven huge multimedia screens. It is the largest immersive system in an airport and the most advanced multimedia environment in a North American airport. This system was created by Moment Factory.[40] Lounge-like seating for relaxation, and the 25,000-square-foot duty-free shopping area are located in the Great Hall. Many restaurants and high-end shops are located there, such as Chloé, Burberry, Fred Segal, and Porsche amongst others. Franchises of popular LA restaurants including Umami Burger, 800 Degrees, Larder, Ink.Sack and Lucky Fish are among the restaurant selections available.[41]

Accommodating the Airbus A380[edit]

On March 25, 2007, Runway 7R/25L reopened after being shifted 55 feet (17 m) south to prevent runway incursions and prepare the runway for the Airbus A380. Additional storm drains and enhanced runway lighting were added. Runway 25L is now 800 feet (240 m) south of the parallel runway centerline to centerline, allowing a parallel taxiway between the runways; the taxiway was completed in 2008.

On September 18, 2006, Los Angeles World Airports started a $503 million facelift of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Improvements included new paging, air conditioning and electrical systems, along with new elevators, escalators, baggage carousels, and a digital sign that automatically update flight information. With federal funding, explosives-detection technology was incorporated into the terminal's underground baggage system.

According to the Los Angeles Times, in February 2007, many Pacific Rim carriers began reducing flights to LAX in favor of more modern airports, such as San Francisco International Airport, due to the aging Tom Bradley International Terminal.[42]

On August 15, 2007, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $1.2 billion project to construct a new 10-gate terminal to handle international flights using the Airbus A380.[43] Adding the first new gates built since the early 1980s, the new structure was to be built directly west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal on a site that was occupied mostly by aircraft hangars.[43]

On March 19, 2007, the Airbus A380 made its debut at LAX, landing on runway 24L. Though LAX was originally to be the first U.S. city to see the A380, Airbus later decided to forgo LAX in favor of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. After city officials fought for the super-jumbo jet to land at LAX, Airbus had to get two A380s, which landed simultaneously in New York and Los Angeles.[44]

On March 31, 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that foreign carriers were once again flocking to LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal. The weaker dollar caused a surge in demand for U.S. travel, resulting in airlines either adding new destinations or increasing frequencies to existing routes. New airlines that introduced flights to LAX included Virgin Australia, Emirates Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Korean Air, Qantas, Air China, and Air France. The influx of new flights comes amidst the renovation of the airport and consolidates LAX's status as the premier international gateway to the Western United States.[45]

Qantas launched service with the Airbus A380 on October 20, 2008, using the west side remote gates. Though initially deployed between LAX and Sydney, Qantas's A380 service was extended to the LAX-Melbourne route. This was followed shortly by Korean Air, which initiated nonstop A380 flights to Seoul-Incheon in October 2011. Air France has launched A380 flights between Paris–Charles de Gaulle and Los Angeles in May 2012. In addition, China Southern Airlines launched A380 service to Guangzhou in October 2012, representing an increase in capacity of 78 percent on the route. With the addition of these services, LAX boasted six daily A380 services. On October 15, 2013, British Airways' nonstop service from London–Heathrow to LAX also became an A380 route.[46]

Asiana Airlines launched an Airbus A380 service to LAX on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. This new A380 route makes Asiana the eighth A380 operator at LAX and the eleventh airline to operate an A380. Previously, Asiana deployed regional Asian A380 routes to Osaka, Hong Kong, and Bangkok from Seoul.[47]

LAX has more A380 services than any other North American city, with up to thirteen daily flights spread among nine operators (as of June 2016): Emirates (Dubai), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), British Airways (London–Heathrow), Qantas (Sydney and Melbourne), Korean Air and Asiana Airlines (Seoul), Air France (Paris), Singapore Airlines (Singapore via Tokyo), and Lufthansa (Frankfurt).

Airlines and destinations[edit]

LAX connects to 87 domestic and 69 international destinations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

American Airlines/American Eagle operate the most departures from the airport, followed by United Airlines/United Express and Southwest Airlines. American operates the largest network of routes out of LAX serving more than 60 destinations, followed closely by Delta (58) and United (57).


A line-up of international carriers at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (including British Airways, China Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, and Asiana Airlines)
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 taking off from LAX
A United Airlines Boeing 787-8 taxiing at LAX
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 taking off from LAX. The Hollywood Sign is visible in the distance
A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300ER takes off from LAX, framed against the control tower
An Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 lands at LAX
An Iberia Airbus A340-600 aircraft taking off from LAX.
A Qantas Airbus A380 taxiing at LAX
A Korean Air Airbus A380 taxiing at LAX
An Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ER taking off from LAX
An Air China Boeing 777-300ER taking off from LAX
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aer Lingus Dublin 2
Aeroflot Moscow–Sheremetyevo TBIT
Aeroméxico Guadalajara, Mexico City
Seasonal: Cancún
Aeroméxico Connect Hermosillo
Seasonal: Culiacán
Air Berlin Düsseldorf TBIT
Air Canada Calgary, Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver 2
Air China Beijing–Capital TBIT
Air France Papeete, Paris–Charles de Gaulle TBIT
Air New Zealand Auckland, London–Heathrow, Rarotonga TBIT
Air Tahiti Nui Papeete, Paris–Charles de Gaulle TBIT
Alaska Airlines Anchorage, Baltimore, Guadalajara, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Liberia (CR), Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Salt Lake City, San José del Cabo, San José (CR), Seattle/Tacoma, Washington–National 6
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
Mammoth Lakes, Medford, Monterey, Santa Rosa
Seasonal: Gunnison/Crested Butte, Sun Valley
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino TBIT
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita TBIT
Allegiant Air Albuquerque (begins October 6, 2016),[48] Bellingham, Boise, Eugene, Fargo, Grand Junction, Medford, Provo, Reno/Tahoe
Seasonal: Billings, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Des Moines, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Great Falls, Honolulu, Idaho Falls, Kalispell, Little Rock, McAllen, Memphis, Missoula, Montrose, Sioux Falls, Springfield/Branson, Tri-Cities (WA), Tulsa, Wichita
American Airlines Atlanta, Auckland, Austin, Beijing–Capital (begins December 16, 2016),[49] Belize City, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Columbus (OH), Dallas/Fort Worth, Guadalajara, Hartford, Hong Kong (begins September 7, 2016),[50] Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kansas City (ends August 23, 2016),[51] Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Las Vegas, Lihue, London–Heathrow, Mexico City, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Omaha, Orlando–MCO, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Francisco, San José del Cabo, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Sydney, Tampa, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–Dulles, Washington–National
Seasonal: Anchorage, Eagle/Vail, Jackson Hole, Montego Bay
Charter: Havana
4, 6
American Eagle Albuquerque, Denver, El Paso, Eugene, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fresno, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City (begins August 23, 2016),[51] Mazatlán, Montrose, Oklahoma City, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Seattle/Tacoma, Tucson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Aspen, Austin, Durango (CO), Jackson Hole, Redmond/Bend
Asiana Airlines Seoul–Incheon TBIT
Avianca Bogotá 2
Avianca Costa Rica Guatemala City, San José (CR), San Salvador 2
Avianca El Salvador San Salvador 2
Boutique Air Merced 3
British Airways London–Heathrow TBIT
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong TBIT
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan TBIT
China Eastern Airlines Chengdu, Nanjing, Shanghai–Pudong TBIT
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou TBIT
Copa Airlines Panama City 6
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Austin (resumes August 27, 2016), Beijing–Capital (begins December 16, 2016),[52] Belize City, Boston, Cancún, Cincinnati, Columbus (OH), Detroit, Guadalajara, Guatemala City, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Kansas City (resumes September 5, 2016), Las Vegas, León/Del Bajío, Lihue, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York–JFK, Oakland, Orlando–MCO, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego (ends August 26, 2016), San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San José (CR), San Salvador, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai–Pudong, Sydney, Tampa, Tokyo–Haneda, Tokyo–Narita (ends October 28, 2016)[53]
Seasonal: Liberia (CR), Managua, Miami
5, 6
Delta Connection Austin, Boise, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, León/Del Bajío, Mazatlán, Monterrey, Oakland (resumes August 27, 2016), Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose (CA), Spokane, Tucson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Aspen (begins December 17, 2016),[54] Bozeman, Jackson Hole, Kalispell, Missoula, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma, Sun Valley
5, 6
Delta Shuttle San Francisco (resumes August 27, 2016), Seattle/Tacoma 5, 6
Dynamic Airways Cancún 2
EL AL Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion TBIT
Emirates Dubai–International TBIT
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Dublin TBIT
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi TBIT
EVA Air Taipei–Taoyuan TBIT
Fiji Airways Nadi TBIT
Frontier Airlines Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Orlando–MCO 3
Great Lakes Airlines Prescott 6
Hainan Airlines Changsha 2
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu, Kahului
Seasonal: Kailua–Kona, Lihue
Iberia Seasonal: Madrid TBIT
Interjet Cancún, Guadalajara 2
Japan Airlines Osaka–Kansai, Tokyo–Narita TBIT
JetBlue Airways Boston, Buffalo, Fort Lauderdale, New York–JFK 3
KLM Amsterdam TBIT
Korean Air São Paulo–Guarulhos (ends September 23, 2016),[55] Seoul–Incheon TBIT
LATAM Chile[citation needed] Lima, Santiago de Chile TBIT
LATAM Perú[citation needed] Lima TBIT
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich TBIT
Mokulele Airlines El Centro 6
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Long Haul
Copenhagen, London–Gatwick, Paris–Charles de Gaulle (begins July 30, 2016),[56] Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda TBIT
Philippine Airlines Cebu, Manila TBIT
Qantas1 Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney TBIT
Qatar Airways Doha 2
Saudia Jeddah, Riyadh TBIT
Scandinavian Airlines Stockholm–Arlanda TBIT
Singapore Airlines Seoul–Incheon (begins October 23, 2016),[57] Singapore, Tokyo–Narita TBIT
Southwest Airlines Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Cancún (begins November 6, 2016),[58] Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, El Paso, Houston–Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Liberia (CR), Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Pittsburgh (begins August 7, 2016),[59] Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta (begins November 6, 2016),[58] Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), San José del Cabo (begins November 6, 2016),[58] Tucson
Seasonal: Omaha
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma 3
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul 2
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich TBIT
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Manchester (UK) 2
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk TBIT
United Airlines Baltimore, Boston, Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Hilo, Honolulu, Houston–Intercontinental, Kahului, Kailua–Kona, Las Vegas, Lihue, London–Heathrow, Melbourne, Mexico City, New Orleans (ends August 15, 2016),[60] Newark, Orlando–MCO, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, San José del Cabo, Shanghai–Pudong, Sydney, Tokyo–Narita, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, San Antonio, Seattle/Tacoma, Vancouver
7, 8
United Express Albuquerque, Austin, Boise, Colorado Springs, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Fresno, Las Vegas, León/Del Bajío, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Monterey, Oklahoma City, Palm Springs, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Seattle/Tacoma, Tucson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Aspen, Bozeman, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Houston–Intercontinental, Jackson Hole, Montrose, San Antonio
7, 8
Virgin America Boston, Cancún, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas–Love, Fort Lauderdale, Kahului, Las Vegas, New York–JFK, Newark, Orlando–MCO, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Honolulu
Virgin Atlantic London–Heathrow 2
Virgin Australia Brisbane, Sydney TBIT4
Volaris Aguascalientes, Durango, Guadalajara, León/Del Bajío, Mexico City, Morelia, Uruapan, Zacatecas 2
WestJet Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver 2
WOW air Reykjavík–Keflavík TBIT
XL Airways France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle 2


  • ^1 Qantas also flies to/from New York–JFK, but only for international, connecting traffic. The airline cannot transport passengers solely between LAX and JFK.
  • ^2 Southwest Airlines international arrivals are processed at Terminal 2.
  • ^3 Virgin America international arrivals are processed at Terminal 2.
  • ^4 Virgin Australia check in is located in Terminal 3.


Airlines Destinations
AeroUnion[61] Guadalajara, León/El Bajío, Mexico City, Monterrey
AirBridgeCargo Airlines[62] Amsterdam, Anchorage, Hong Kong, Shanghai–Pudong
Air China Cargo[63][64] Beijing–Capital, Quito, Shanghai–Pudong
Aloha Air Cargo
operated by ABX Air[65]
Asiana Cargo[66] Anchorage, San Francisco, Seoul–Incheon
Cargolux[67][68] Anchorage, Calgary, Glasgow–Prestwick, Luxembourg, Mexico City, Seattle/Tacoma
Cathay Pacific Cargo[69] Anchorage, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Portland (OR) (begins November 3, 2016)[70]
Centurion Air Cargo[71] Guadalajara, Mexico City, Miami, Tokyo–Narita
China Airlines Cargo[72][73][74] Anchorage, Osaka, San Francisco, Taipei–Taoyuan
China Cargo Airlines[75] Santiago de Chile, Shanghai–Pudong
China Southern Cargo[76][77][78] Guangzhou, Hefei, Shanghai–Pudong, Tianjin, Vancouver, Zhengzhou
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air[65]
Guadalajara, Honolulu, Huatulco, Mexico City, Portland (OR), San Francisco, San José (CR), Seattle–Boeing
DHL Aviation
operated by Air Transport International[79]
Portland (OR), Seattle–Boeing
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlas Air[80][81]
Anchorage, Barcelona, Calgary, Guam, San Francisco, Seoul–Incheon, Tokyo–Narita
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Air
Honolulu, Memphis, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul–Incheon
DHL Aviation
operated by Southern Air
Hong Kong, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by Polar Air Cargo[82][83][84]
Anchorage, Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong
DHL Express
operated by Ameriflight
Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Tucson
Emirates SkyCargo[85][86] Copenhagen, Dubai–Al Maktoum, Mexico City, Zaragoza
EVA Air Cargo[87] Anchorage, Taipei–Taoyuan
FedEx Express Boston, Burbank, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Edmonton, Fort Worth/Alliance, Fresno, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, Oakland, Ontario, Orange County, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (OR), San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma, Sydney
Seasonal: Cincinnati
Florida West International Airways[88] Bogotá
Korean Air Cargo[89][90] Anchorage, San Francisco, Seoul–Incheon, Tokyo–Narita
Lufthansa Cargo[91] Frankfurt, Manchester
MasAir[92] Campinas–Viracopos, Guadalajara, Mérida, Mexico City, Quito
National Cargo[93] Anchorage, Nagoya–Centrair
Nippon Cargo Airlines[94][95] San Francisco, Tokyo–Narita
Qantas Freight
operated by Atlas Air[96]
Auckland, Chongqing, Honolulu, Melbourne, Sydney
Qatar Airways Cargo[97][98][99][100] Doha, Luxembourg, Mexico City
Singapore Airlines Cargo[101][102][103] Amsterdam, Anchorage, Brussels
Sky Lease Cargo[104] Miami, Tokyo–Narita
TNT Airways[105] Liège
UPS Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisville, Ontario

Traffic and statistics[edit]

LAX handles more "origin and destination" (not connecting) passengers than any other airport in the world.[106][107]

The airport handled 28,861,477 enplanements, the total number of passengers boarding an aircraft, in 2008. This makes LAX the third busiest airport in the United States in terms of enplanements.[108]

It is the world's fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic[109] and fifteenth-busiest by cargo traffic,[110] serving over 70.6 million passengers and 2 million tons of freight and mail in 2014. It is the busiest airport in the state of California, and the second-busiest airport by passenger boardings in the United States, based on final 2013 statistics.[111]

In terms of international passengers, as of 2012, LAX is the third busiest in the United States. (behind JFK in New York City and MIA in Miami)[112] and, as of 2006, 26th worldwide.[113]

The number of aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs) has steadily increased to 636,706 in 2014, up from 614,917 in 2013, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.[114] The Airports Council International places LAX at third most aircraft movements in the world, as of 2013.[115]

The LAX control tower and Theme Building as seen from Terminal 4
Traffic by calendar year
Passengers Aircraft movements Freight
1994 51,050,275 689,888 1,516,567 186,878
1995 53,909,223 732,639 1,567,248 193,747
1996 57,974,559 763,866 1,696,663 194,091
1997 60,142,588 781,492 1,852,487 212,410
1998 61,215,712 773,569 1,787,400 264,473
1999 64,279,571 779,150 1,884,526 253,695
2000 67,303,182 783,433 2,002,614 246,538
2001 61,606,204 738,433 1,779,065 162,629
2002 56,223,843 645,424 1,869,932 92,422
2003 54,982,838 622,378 1,924,883 97,193
2004 60,704,568 655,097 2,022,911 92,402
2005 61,489,398 650,629 2,048,817 88,371
2006 61,041,066 656,842 2,022,687 80,395
2007 62,438,583 680,954 2,010,820 66,707
2008 59,815,646 622,506 1,723,038 73,505
2009 56,520,843 544,833 1,599,782 64,073
2010 59,069,409 575,835 1,852,791 74,034
2011 61,862,052 603,912 1,789,204 80,442
2012 63,688,121 605,480 1,867,155 88,438
2013 66,667,619 614,917 1,848,764 77,286
2014 70,662,212 636,706 1,921,302 79,850
2015 74,936,256 655,564 2,038,221 94,265
Source: Los Angeles World Airports[116]

Top domestic destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from LAX (Apr 2015 – Mar 2016)[117]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 San Francisco, California 1,839,000 American, Delta, Southwest, United, Virgin America
2 New York–JFK, New York 1,673,000 American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America
3 Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois 1,355,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United, Virgin America
4 Las Vegas, Nevada 1,293,000 American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United, Virgin America
5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 1,192,000 American, Delta, Spirit, United
6 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 1,113,000 Alaska, Delta, United, Virgin America
7 Honolulu, Hawaii 1,074,000 Allegiant, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United
8 Atlanta, Georgia 1,051,000 American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit
9 Denver, Colorado 1,003,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, United
10 Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Arizona 832,000 American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United, US Airways

Top international destinations[edit]

Busiest international routes from LAX (Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)[118]
Rank Airport Passengers Change 2013/2014 Carriers
1 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 1,428,718 Decrease00.2% Air New Zealand, American, British Airways, Delta, United, Virgin Atlantic
2 Tokyo (Narita), Japan 1,096,689 Decrease07.1% ANA, American, Delta, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United
3 Seoul (Incheon), South Korea 1,049,924 Increase05.2% Asiana, Korean Air, Thai Airways
4 Sydney, Australia 1,033,921 Decrease03.1% Delta, Qantas, United, Virgin Australia
5 Taipei (Taoyuan), Taiwan 905,671 Increase02.7% China Airlines, EVA Air
6 Vancouver, Canada 896,490 Increase019.1% Air Canada, Alaska, American, Delta, United, WestJet
7 Guadalajara, Mexico 746,017 Increase00.8% Aeroméxico, Alaska, American, Delta, Interjet, Volaris
8 Mexico City, Mexico 725,575 Decrease05.5% Aeroméxico, American, United, Volaris
9 Toronto (Pearson), Canada 604,124 Increase08.0% Air Canada, American
10 Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 579,311 Increase02.9% Air France, Air Tahiti Nui

Airline market share[edit]

Largest Airlines at LAX (Apr 2015 – Mar 2016)[117]
Rank Airline Passengers Share
1 American Airlines1 10,315,000 19.16%
2 Southwest Airlines 8,746,000 16.25%
3 Delta Air Lines 8,708,000 16.18%
4 United Airlines 8,518,000 15.82%
5 SkyWest Airlines 3,293,000 6.12%

Ground transportation[edit]

Transportation between terminals[edit]

Shuttles operate to and from the terminals, providing frequent service for connecting passengers. However, connecting passengers who use these shuttles must leave and then later reenter security. Underground tunnels connect between terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, and an above-ground connector between TBIT and terminal 4 opened in February 2016.[119]

One of the large LAX signs that greet visitors to Los Angeles International Airport. This sign is at the Century Boulevard entrance to the airport.

Freeways and roads[edit]

LAX's terminals are immediately west of the interchange between Century Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard (State Route 1). The 405 Freeway can be reached to the east via Century Boulevard, and the 105 Freeway can be reached to the south via Sepulveda Boulevard.

The 405 freeway near LAX


LAX City Bus Center

The closest bus stops to the terminals are the pair of opposites on Sepulveda Boulevard and Century Boulevard, served by Metro 117, Torrance 8, Metro 232, Commuter Express 574 and Metro 40 to Los Angeles Union Station (owl service only).

In addition, out of a number of bus systems, many routes (local, rapid and express) of the LACMTA Metro 232 to Long Beach, Line 8 of Torrance Transit, Line 109 of Beach Cities Transit, the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus system's Line 3 and Rapid 3 via Lincoln Boulevard to Santa Monica and the Culver CityBus's Line 6 and Rapid 6 via Sepulveda Blvd to Culver City and UCLA all make stops at the LAX Transit Center in Parking Lot C. on 96th St., where shuttle bus "C" offers free connections to and from every LAX terminal, and at the Green Line, where shuttle bus "G" connects to and from the terminals.

The Taiwanese airline China Airlines operates a bus service from LAX to Monterey Park and Rowland Heights. This service is only available for China Airlines customers.[120]

FlyAway Bus[edit]

Main article: FlyAway Bus

The FlyAway Bus is a nonstop motorcoach/shuttle service run by the LAWA, which provides scheduled service between LAX and Downtown Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys), West Los Angeles (Westwood), Hollywood and Santa Monica. The Irvine FlyAway was discontinued on August 31, 2012. The shuttle service stops at every LAX terminal. The service hours vary based on the line. All lines use the regional system of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to expedite their trips. The Los Angeles Union Station service and a late-night branch of Metro Local route 40 are the only direct transport links between the airport and Downtown Los Angeles.

Metro Rail[edit]

Shuttle bus "G" offers a free connection to and from the Aviation/LAX station on the Los Angeles Metro Rail Green Line. The line was originally intended to connect directly to the airport terminals, but budgetary restraints and opposition from local taxi and parking lot owners impeded its progress and won.

Airport Metro Connector[edit]

In June 2014, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a $200 million Metro Rail infill station at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street on the under construction Crenshaw/LAX Line to connect to an automated people mover (APM) system called the Airport Metro Connector, connecting terminals 1–8 to the light rail system.[121] The people mover will have six stations: three serving the central terminal area, one serving a ground transportation hub, one serving the infill light rail station, and one serving a rental car hub, decreasing the need for shuttle bus services. Construction, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, is planned to start in early 2017 and to be completed by early 2024.[122][123] Currently, shuttle bus "G" runs every 10–15 minutes (synched with the train schedule) from 5 am – 1:30 am.[124]

Taxis and private shuttles[edit]

Taxicab services are operated by nine city-authorized taxi companies and regulated by Authorized Taxicab Supervision Inc. (ATS). ATS maintains a taxicab holding lot under the 96th Street Bridge where, at peak periods, hundreds of cabs queue up to wait their turn to pull into the central terminal area to pick up passengers. A number of private shuttle companies also offer limousine and bus services to LAX Airport.

Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles[edit]

The airport also functions as a joint civil-military facility, providing a base for the United States Coast Guard and its Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles facility, operating four HH-65 Dolphin helicopters, which covers Coast Guard operations in various Southern California locations, including Catalina Island. Missions include search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement, aids to navigation support (such as operating lighthouses) and various military operations. In addition, Coast Guard helicopters assigned to the air station deploy to Coast Guard cutters.

The Coast Guard is planning to close Coast Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles and move its aircraft and personnel to Naval Air Station Point Mugu, part of Naval Base Ventura County in Oxnard, California, when the lease on the existing facility ends in 2016.[125][126]

Flight Path Learning Center & Museum[edit]

The light towers, first installed in preparation for the Democratic National Convention in 2000, change colors throughout the night

The Flight Path Learning Center is a museum located at 6661 Imperial Highway and was formerly known as the "West Imperial Terminal". This building used to house some charter flights (Condor Airlines) and regular scheduled flights by MGM Grand Air. It sat empty for 10 years until it was re-opened as a learning center for LAX.

The center contains information on the history of aviation, several pictures of the airport, as well as aircraft scale models, flight attendant uniforms, and general airline memorabilia such as playing cards, china, magazines, signs, even a TWA gate information sign. The museum also offers school tours and a guest speaker program.

The museum's library contains an extensive collection of rare items such as aircraft manufacturer company newsletters/magazines, technical manuals for both military and civilian aircraft, industry magazines dating back to World War II and before, historic photographs and other invaluable references on aircraft operation and manufacturing.[127]

The museum has on display "The Spirit of Seventy-Six," which is a DC-3 (DC-3-262, Serial No. 3269). After being in commercial airline service, the plane served as a corporate aircraft for Union Oil Company for 32 years. The plane was built in the Douglas Aircraft Company plant in Santa Monica in January 1941, which was a major producer of both commercial and military aircraft.[128]

The museum claims to be "the only aviation museum and research center situated at a major airport and the only facility with a primary emphasis on contributions of civil aviation to the history and development of Southern California".[129] There are other museums at major airports, however, including the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum adjacent to Washington Dulles Airport, the Royal Thai Air Force Museum at Don Muang Airport, the Suomen ilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation Museum) at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium at Tulsa International Airport and others.

Other facilities[edit]

Hotels next to LAX

The airport has the administrative offices of Los Angeles World Airports.[130]

Continental Airlines once had its corporate headquarters on the airport property. At a 1962 press conference in the office of Mayor of Los Angeles Sam Yorty, Continental Airlines announced that it planned to move its headquarters to Los Angeles in July 1963.[131] In 1963 Continental Airlines headquarters moved to a two-story, $2.3 million building on the grounds of the airport.[132][133] The July 2009 Continental Magazine issue stated that the move "underlined Continental Airlines western and Pacific orientation".[134] On July 1, 1983 the airline's headquarters were relocated to the America Tower in the Neartown area of Houston.[135]

In addition to Continental Airlines, Western Airlines and Flying Tiger Line also had their headquarters at LAX.[136][137]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

During its history there have been numerous incidents, but only the most notable are summarized below:[138]


  • On January 23, 1939, the sole prototype Douglas 7B twin-engine attack bomber, designed and built as a company project, suffered loss of vertical fin and rudder during demonstration flight over Mines Field, flat spun into the parking lot of North American Aviation, burned. Another source states that the test pilot, in an attempt to impress the Gallic passenger, attempted a snap roll at low altitude with one engine feathered, resulting in the fatal spin.[139] Douglas test pilot Johnny Cable bailed out at 300 feet, chute unfurled but did not have time to deploy, killed on impact, flight engineer John Parks rode the airframe in and died, but 33-year-old French Air Force Capt. Paul Chemidlin, riding in aft fuselage near top turret, survived with broken leg, severe back injuries, slight concussion. Presence of Chemidlin, a representative of foreign purchasing mission, caused a furor in Congress by isolationists over neutrality and export laws. Type was developed as Douglas DB-7.[140]


  • On June 1, 1940, the first Douglas R3D-1 for the U.S. Navy, BuNo 1901, crashed at Mines Field, before delivery. The Navy later acquired the privately owned DC-5 prototype, from William E. Boeing as a replacement.[141]
  • On November 20, 1940, the prototype NA-73X Mustang, NX19998,[142] first flown October 26, 1940, by test pilot Vance Breese, crashed this date.[143] According to P-51 designer Edgar Schmued, the NA-73 was lost because test pilot Paul Balfour refused, before a high-speed test run, to go through the takeoff and flight test procedure with Schmued while the aircraft was on the ground, claiming "one airplane was like another". After making two high speed passes over Mines Field, he forgot to put the fuel valve on "reserve" and during third pass ran out of fuel. Emergency landing in a freshly plowed field caused wheels to dig in, aircraft flipped over, airframe was not rebuilt, the second aircraft being used for subsequent testing.[144]
  • On October 26, 1944, WASP pilot Gertrude Tompkins Silver of the 601st Ferrying Squadron, 5th Ferrying Group, Love Field, Dallas, Texas, departed Los Angeles Airport, in North American P-51D Mustang, 44-15669,[145] at 1600 hrs PWT, headed for the East Coast. She took off into the wind, into an offshore fog bank, and was expected that night at Palm Springs. She never arrived. Due to a paperwork foul-up, a search did not get under way for several days, and while the eventual search of land and sea was massive, it failed to find a trace of Silver or her plane. She is the only missing WASP pilot. She had married Sgt. Henry Silver one month before her disappearance.[146]


  • On January 13, 1969, a Scandinavian Airlines System Douglas DC-8-62, Flight 933, crashed into Santa Monica Bay, approximately 6 nautical miles (11 km) west of LAX at 7:21 pm, local time. The aircraft was operating as flight SK-933, nearing the completion of a flight from Seattle. Of nine crewmembers, three lost their lives to drowning, while 12 of the 36 passengers also drowned.
  • On January 18, 1969, United Airlines Flight 266 a Boeing 727-200 bearing the registration number N7434U, crashed into Santa Monica Bay approximately 11.3 miles (18.2 km) west of LAX at 6:21 pm local time. The aircraft was destroyed, resulting in the loss of all 32 passengers and six crew members aboard.


  • On the evening of June 6, 1971, Hughes Airwest Flight 706, a Douglas DC-9 jetliner that had departed LAX on a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, was struck nine minutes after takeoff by a U.S. Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter jet over the San Gabriel Mountains. The midair collision killed all 44 passengers and five crew members aboard the DC-9 airliner and one of two crewmen aboard the military jet.
  • On August 6, 1974, a bomb exploded near the Pan Am ticketing area at Terminal 2; three people were killed and 35 were injured.[147]
  • On March 1, 1978, two tires burst in succession on a McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 on Continental Airlines Flight 603 during its takeoff roll at LAX and the plane, bound for Honolulu, veered off the runway. A third tire burst and the DC-10's left landing gear collapsed, causing a fuel tank to rupture. Following the aborted takeoff, spilled fuel ignited and enveloped the center portion of the aircraft in flames. During the ensuing emergency evacuation, a husband and wife died when they exited the passenger cabin onto the wing and dropped down directly into the flames. Two additional passengers died of their injuries approximately three months after the accident; 74 others aboard the plane were injured, as were 11 firemen battling the fire.
  • On the evening of March 10, 1979, Swift Aire Flight 235, a twin-engine Aerospatiale Nord 262A-33 turboprop en route to Santa Maria, was forced to ditch in Santa Monica Bay after experiencing engine problems upon takeoff from LAX. The pilot, co-pilot and a female passenger drowned when they were unable to exit the aircraft after the ditching. The female flight attendant and the three remaining passengers—two men and a pregnant woman—survived and were rescued by several pleasure boats and other watercraft in the vicinity.


  • On August 31, 1986, Aeroméxico Flight 498, a DC-9 en route from Mexico City, Mexico to Los Angeles, began its descent into LAX when a Piper Cherokee collided with the DC-9's left horizontal stabilizer over Cerritos, California, causing the DC-9 to crash into a residential neighborhood. All 67 people on the two aircraft were killed, in addition to 15 people on the ground. 5 homes were destroyed and an additional 7 were damaged by the crash and resulting fire. The Piper went down in a nearby schoolyard and caused no further injuries on the ground. As a result of this incident, the FAA required all commercial aircraft to be equipped with Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).


  • On February 1, 1991, USAir Flight 1493 (arriving from Columbus, Ohio), a Boeing 737-300, landing on runway 24L at LAX, collided on touchdown with a SkyWest Airlines Fairchild Metroliner, Flight 5569 departing to Palmdale, California, that had been holding in position on the same runway. The collision killed all 12 occupants of the SkyWest plane and 22 people aboard the USAir 737.


  • Al-Qaeda attempted to bomb LAX on New Year's Eve 1999/2000. The bomber, Algerian Ahmed Ressam, was captured in Port Angeles, Washington, the U.S. port of entry, with a cache of explosives that could have produced a blast 40 times greater than that of a car bomb hidden in the trunk of the rented car in which he had traveled from Canada.[148][149] He had planned to leave one or two suitcases filled with explosives in an LAX passenger waiting area.[150][151] He was initially sentenced to 22 years in prison, but in February 2010 an appellate court ordered that his sentence be extended.[152]
  • On January 31, 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 jetliner flying from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Francisco and Seattle, requested to make an emergency landing at LAX after experiencing control problems with its tail-mounted horizontal stabilizer. Before the plane could divert to Los Angeles, it suddenly plummeted into the Pacific Ocean approximately 2.7 miles (4.3 km) north of Anacapa Island off the California coast, killing all 88 people aboard the aircraft.[153]
  • Three of the aircraft hijacked as part of the September 11, 2001 attacks (American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 175) were scheduled services to LAX.
  • In the 2002 Los Angeles International Airport shooting of July 4, 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed two Israelis at the ticket counter of El Al Airlines at LAX. Although the gunman was not linked to any terrorist group, the man was upset at U.S. support for Israel, and therefore was motivated by political disagreement. This led the FBI to classify this shooting as a terrorist act,[154] one of the few on U.S. soil since the September 11 attacks.
  • On September 21, 2005, JetBlue Airways Flight 292, an Airbus A320 discovered a problem with its landing gear as it took off from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. It flew in circles for three hours to burn off fuel, then landed safely at Los Angeles International Airport on runway 25L, balancing on its back wheels as it rolled down the center of the runway. Passengers were able to watch their own coverage live from the satellite broadcast on JetBlue in-flight TV seat displays of their plane as it made an emergency landing with the front landing gear visibly becoming damaged. Because JetBlue did not serve LAX at the time, the aircraft was evaluated and repaired at a Continental Airlines hangar.[155][156]
  • On July 29, 2006, after America West Express Flight 6008, a Canadair Regional Jet operated by Mesa Airlines from Phoenix, Arizona, landed on runway 25L, controllers instructed the pilot to leave the runway on a taxiway known as "Mike" and stop short of runway 25R. Even though the pilot read back the instructions correctly, he accidentally taxied onto 25R and into the path of a departing SkyWest Airlines Embraer EMB-120 operating United Express Flight 6037 to Monterey, California. They cleared each other by 50 feet (15 m) and nobody was hurt.[157]
  • On August 16, 2007, a runway incursion occurred between WestJet Flight 900 and Northwest Airlines Flight 180 on runways 24R and 24L, respectively, with the aircraft coming within 37 feet (11 m) of each other. The planes were carrying a combined total of 296 people, none of whom were injured. The NTSB concluded that the incursion was the result of controller error.[158] In September 2007, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey stressed the need for LAX to increase lateral separation between its pair of north runways in order to preserve the safety and efficiency of the airport.[159]


  • On October 13 and 14, 2013, two incidents of dry ice bomb explosions occurred at the airport. The first dry ice bomb exploded at 7:00 p.m. in an employee restroom in Terminal 2, injuring nobody. Terminal 2 was briefly shut down as a result. On the next day at 8:30 p.m., a dry ice bomb exploded on the ramp area near the Tom Bradley International Terminal, injuring nobody. Two other plastic bottles containing dry ice were found at the scene during the second explosion. On October 15, a 28-year-old airport employee was arrested in connection with the explosions and was booked on charges of possession of an explosive or destructive device near an aircraft. He is currently held on a $1 million bail.[160][161][162] On October 18, a 41-year-old airport employee was arrested in connection with the second explosion, and was booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device near an aircraft.[163] Authorities believe that the incidents are not linked to terrorism.[160]
  • In the 2013 Los Angeles International Airport shooting of November 1, 2013, at around 9:31 a.m. PDT, a lone gunman entered Terminal 3 and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer and wounding three other people. The gunman was later apprehended and taken into custody. Until the situation was clarified and under control, a few terminals at the airport were evacuated, all inbound flights were diverted and all outbound flights were grounded until the airport began returning to normal operation at around 2:30 p.m.[164][165]

Planned modernization[edit]

New Tom Bradley West International Terminal "Bon Voyage" screen that greets travelers about to depart through the expanded concourse

LAWA currently has several plans to modernize LAX. These include terminal and runway improvements, which will enhance the passenger experience, reduce overcrowding, and provide airport access to the latest class of very large passenger aircraft.

These improvements include:[166]

  • New crossfield taxiway
  • New large aircraft gates at TBIT
  • TBIT core improvements
  • New Midfield Satellite Concourse
  • Replacement of Central Utility Plant
  • Terminal and Runway Improvements

LAWA is also planning to build and operate an automated people mover. This small train will include three stations in the central terminal area and three outside east of the terminals at a new intermodal transportation facility, connecting passengers between the central terminal area and the Metro Green Line, the future Metro Crenshaw Line, and regional and local bus lines and a consolidated car rental facility.[167]

In popular culture[edit]

Numerous films and television shows have been set or filmed partially at LAX, at least partly due to the airport's proximity to Hollywood studios. Film shoots at the Los Angeles airports, including LAX, produced $590 million for the Los Angeles region from 2002 to 2005.[168]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Delta Hub Station Los Angeles". January 12, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Los Angeles International airport – Economic and social impacts". Ecquants. Archived from the original on May 22, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for LAX (A&fn=LAX Form 5010 PDF). Retrieved March 15, 2007.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Bullock, Freddy. LAX: Los Angeles International Airport (1998)
  • Schoneberger, William A., Ethel Pattison, and Lee Nichols. Los Angeles International Airport (Arcadia Publishing, 2009.)

External links[edit]