Los Angeles International Airport
|Los Angeles International Airport|
|IATA: LAX – ICAO: KLAX – FAA LID: LAX
– WMO: 72295
|Owner||City of Los Angeles|
|Operator||Los Angeles World Airports|
|Serves||Greater Los Angeles Area|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||128 ft / 39 m|
FAA airport diagram
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX, FAA LID: LAX) is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area 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 southwestern Los Angeles along the Pacific coast in the neighborhood of Westchester, 16 miles (26 km) from Downtown Los Angeles. 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 2014, LAX handled 70,622,212 passengers, far exceeding a previous record of 67.3 million travelers set in 2000. The airport holds the claim for "the world's busiest origin and destination (O & D) airport" in 2011, meaning it had the most non-connecting passengers. The airport also was the third busiest in the world by aircraft movements. It is also the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic.
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 few U.S. airports with four parallel runways.
LAX serves as a hub for American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Great Lakes Airlines, and Virgin America. The airport also serves as a focus city for Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Qantas, Southwest Airlines, and Volaris. LAX serves as either a hub or focus city for more airlines than any other airport in the United States. LAX, along with Miami International Airport are the only two US airports that are a hub/focus city for an airline that primarily serves a different country.
LAX serves as one of the main airports for connections between Europe and several island countries In the Pacific Ocean including New Zealand and Tahiti.
- 1 History
- 2 Aircraft spotting
- 3 Theme Building
- 4 Terminals
- 5 Airlines and destinations
- 6 Traffic and statistics
- 7 Top international destinations
- 8 Top domestic destinations
- 9 Airport lounges
- 10 Ground transportation
- 11 Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles
- 12 Flight Path Learning Center & Museum
- 13 Other facilities
- 14 Incidents and accidents
- 15 Planned modernization
- 16 In popular culture
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 Further reading
- 20 External links
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. The first structure, Hangar No. 1, was erected in 1929 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.
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. 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.)
Mines Field did not extend west of Sepulveda Boulevard; 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. 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.
The April 1957 Official Airline Guide showed 66 weekday departures on United Airlines, 32 American Airlines, 32 Western Airlines, 27 TWA, nine Southwest, five Bonanza Air Lines and three Mexicana Airlines; also 22 flights a week on Pan American World Airways and five a week on Scandinavian Airlines (the only direct flights from California to Europe).
In 1958, the architecture firm Pereira & Luckman was contracted to plan the re-design of the airport for the "jet age". The plan, developed with architects Welton Becket and Paul Williams, called for a series of terminals and parking structures in the central portion of the property, with these buildings connected at the center by a huge steel-and-glass dome. The plan was never realized, and the Theme Building was built on the site intended for the dome.
In the new terminal area west of Sepulveda Blvd that started opening in 1961, each terminal had a satellite building out in the middle of the tarmac, reached by underground tunnels from the ticketing area. United's satellites 7 and 8 were first to open, followed by 3, 4 and 5; satellite 2 opened as the international terminal several months later and satellite 6 was to be the last to open.
Since the 1920s, a neighborhood called Surfridge had been on the coastline west of the airport, part of the larger community of Palisades del Rey along with the neighborhood to the north now known as Playa del Rey. When the airlines switched to jet airliners during the 1960s and 1970s and Surfridge's residents complained about noise pollution, the city used its eminent domain powers to condemn and evacuate Surfridge. The government bulldozed the homes but did not bulldoze the streets, and the fenced-off "ghost" streets west of LAX are still there.
In 1981, LAX began a $700 million expansion in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics. The U-shaped roadway past the terminal entrances got a second level, with arriving passengers on the lower level and departing on the upper. Connector buildings between the ticketing areas and the satellite buildings were added, changing the layout to a "pier" design. Two new terminals (Terminal 1 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal) were built and Terminal 2, then two decades old, was rebuilt. Multi-story parking structures were also built in the center of the airport.
On July 8, 1982, groundbreaking for the two new terminals were conducted by Mayor Tom Bradley and World War II aviator General James Doolittle. The $123 million 963,000-square-foot (89,500 m2) International Terminal opened on June 11, 1984, and was named for Bradley.
The airport closed again on January 17, 1994 after the Northridge earthquake.
In 2000, before Los Angeles hosted the Democratic National Convention, fifteen glass pylons up to ten stories high were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Century Boulevard, with more pylons of decreasing height following Century Boulevard eastward, evoking a sense of departure and arrival. Conceived by the designers at Selbert Perkins Design, the towers and 30-foot (9.1 m) "LAX" letters are a gateway to the airport and offer a welcoming landmark for visitors. Illuminated from the inside, the pylons slowly cycle through a rainbow of colors that represents the multicultural makeup of Los Angeles and can be customized to celebrate events, holidays or a season. This was part of an overall face-lift that included new signage and various other cosmetic enhancements that was led by Ted Tokio Tanaka Architects. The LAX pylons underwent improvements in 2006, as stage lighting inside the cylinders was replaced with LED lights to conserve energy, make maintenance easier and enable on-demand cycling through various color effects.
Starting in the mid-1990s, under Mayors Richard Riordan and James Hahn, modernization and expansion plans for LAX were prepared, only to be stymied by a coalition of residents who live near the airport. They cited increased noise, pollution and traffic impacts of the project. In late 2005, newly elected Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was able to reach a compromise, allowing some modernization to go forward while encouraging future growth among other facilities in the region.
It is illegal[dubious ] to limit the number of passengers that use an airport, but in December 2005 the city agreed to limit the passenger gates to 163. Once passenger usage hits 75 million, a maximum of two gates a year for up to five years will be closed, intending to limit growth to 79 million passengers a year. In exchange civil lawsuits were abandoned, to allow the city to complete badly needed improvements to the airport.
The airport is a hub for United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and a focus city for Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Virgin America and Volaris. It also serves as an international gateway and focus city for Delta Air Lines with its sole gateway to Australia. The airport also houses a line maintenance facility for Delta's primary maintenance, repair and overhaul arm, Delta TechOps.
In 2008 plans were unveiled for a $4.11 billion renovation and improvement program to expand and rehabilitate the Tom Bradley International Terminal to accommodate the next generation of larger aircraft, as well as handle the growing number of flights to and from the Southern California region, and to develop the Central Terminal Area (CTA) of the airport to include streamlined passenger processing, public transportation and updated central utility plants. As of 2013, Los Angeles International Airport is the biggest airport in California. The multi-year project, originally projected to be completed in 2014, is ongoing as of February 2015, and is the largest public works project in Los Angeles history.
The "X" in LAX
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. "LAX" is also used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
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
At 12:51 pm on Friday, September 21, 2012, a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carrying the Space Shuttle Endeavour landed at LAX on runway 25L. An estimate of over 10,000 people saw the shuttle land in person. Interstate 105 was backed up for miles at a standstill. Imperial Highway was shut down for spectators. Along the way the shuttle passed many landmarks in the Los Angeles area including the Santa Monica Pier, Getty Center, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Griffith Observatory, Malibu coastline, the Hollywood Sign, Universal Studios Hollywood, the Disneyland Resort, and Los Angeles City Hall. 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 for transport to the California Science Center.
On Friday, October 12, Endeavour left the hangar at 2:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and moved eastward on Manchester Boulevard on its way to the California Science Center. The shuttle transport vehicle (STV) was constructed of over 60 individual wheels and weighed over 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg). It was designed to move the shuttle at a speed of 2 miles per hour (3.2 km/h). This was both for safety concerns for the shuttle and so people could take many photos. As the entire planned route was only 12 miles, it should have only taken 6 hours to complete. Instead, the shuttle arrived in one piece on the morning of Sunday, October 14, 2012.
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. 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. 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.
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 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:
- Terminals 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 have airside connection.
- 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).
- Terminals 4, 5 and 6 are connected via an airside underground walkway. At Terminal 6 passengers can transfer from the above ground Terminal 6/7/8 walkway to the underground walkway to access Terminals 4, 5 and 6.
- 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.
Beginning in 2016, an additional airside corridor will be 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.
Terminal 1 has 15 gates: Gates 1–3, 4A–4B, and 5–14 (re numbered to 9, 10, 11A-11B, 12A-12B, 13-15, 16A-16B, 17A-17B, and 18A-18B, as of mid-May 2015), 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.
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 along with a couple of domestic airlines: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Avianca, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Volaris, and WestJet.
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 $94 million. The rebuilt terminal was designed by Leo A Daly. Terminal 2 has CBP (Customs and Border Protection) facilities to process arriving international passengers.
Former tenants of the terminal include Air China, Air New Zealand, Northwest Airlines, Pan American World Airways, and TACA International Airlines. Air New Zealand moved to the Tom Bradley International Terminal on December 3, 2014 and Air China moved to the Tom Bradley International Terminal on July 1, 2015.
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. 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. US Airways moved operations to Terminal 6 on November 6, 2014.
Virgin America uses Terminal 2 for arrivals from Cancun. Virgin Australia check-in is in Terminal 3 and all departures and arrivals are at TBIT.
Terminal 4 has 14 gates: Gates 40–41, 42A–42B, 43–45 (Gate 44 is for the bus to the American Eagle remote terminal, Gates 44A-44B), 46A–46B, 47A–47B, 48A–48B, and 49A, 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, 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. An international arrivals facility was also added as part of the renovations.
American Eagle regional flights operate from the "American Eagle Terminal", a satellite terminal which is located just east of Terminal 8. Gate 44 serves as the shuttle bus stop at Terminal 4. This terminal has 9 regional jet gates that supplement the 14 mainline gates at Terminal 4, giving American Airlines and American Eagle more gates than any other airline at LAX, with 24 (American Airlines Group operates from 28 gates in total, including the four dedicated gates for US Airways at Terminal 6). The remote terminal is also connected by shuttle buses to Terminals 6 and TBIT because of Eagle's codesharing with Alaska Airlines, Qantas and US Airways.
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, 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.
Terminal 6 has 14 gates: Gates 60–63, 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.
The terminal is presently in use by Alaska Airlines, American Airlines (for US Airways operated flights), Delta and Great Lakes.
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. US Airways moved operations to Terminal 6 on November 6, 2014.
Former tenants of the terminal include Continental Airlines until its merger with United in 2011 and Eastern Air Lines, which went bankrupt in 1991. The terminal also originally housed Pacific Southwest Airlines.
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. The terminal was expanded in 1982 with the addition of a connector building, which today compromises of gates 70A-70B and 71A-71B. 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. Also, the roof of the terminal was raised, and new, brighter light fixtures were added in order to provide more overall lighting. 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 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. The terminal formerly served Shuttle by United flights. While at one point, United solely operated United Express flights from Terminal 8 and operated non-Express flights from Terminals 6 and 7, Terminal 8 is now used once again for some mainline flights.
Tom Bradley International Terminal
- Not to be confused with Bradley International Airport, which serves Hartford, Connecticut.
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.
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. 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.
Accommodating the Airbus A380
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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% on the route. With the addition of these services, LAX boasted six daily A380 services. On October 15, British Airways' nonstop service from London Heathrow to LAX also became an A380 route.
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.
As of 29 March 2015[update], LAX has more A380 services than any other North American city, with twelve daily flights spread among nine operators: Emirates (Dubai), China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou), British Airways (London), Qantas (Sydney and Melbourne), Korean Air and Asiana Airlines (Seoul), Air France (Paris), Singapore Airlines (Singapore via Tokyo), and Lufthansa (Frankfurt).
Airlines and destinations
LAX connects 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 64 destinations, followed closely by Delta (58) and United (57). American (from December 17, 2015), Delta and United all operate nonstop services to the most transpacific destinations (four). Norwegian Air Shuttle (Operated by Norwegian Long Haul) serves the most destinations in Europe (three), while Alaska Airlines/Horizon serve the most destinations in Mexico (eight). This table lists passenger flights served with a nonstop or direct flight with no change of aircraft carrying passengers originating in Los Angeles according to the airlines' published schedules, unless otherwise noted.
- ^1 Copa Airlines arrivals are processed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
- ^2 Qantas flights also flies to/from New York–JFK, but only for international, connecting traffic. The airline cannot transport passengers solely between LAX and JFK.
- ^3 All US Airways flights will be rebranded as American Airlines flights effective October 17, 2015.
- ^4 Virgin Australia check in is located in Terminal 3.
Traffic and statistics
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.
It is the world's fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic and fifteenth-busiest by cargo traffic, 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.
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. The Airports Council International places LAX at third most aircraft movements in the world, as of 2013.
|Source: Los Angeles World Airports|
Top international destinations
|1||London (Heathrow), United Kingdom||1,339,445||4.0%||Air New Zealand, American, British Airways, United, Virgin Atlantic|
|2||Tokyo (Narita), Japan||1,180,227||7.3%||ANA, American, Delta, JAL, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, United|
|3||Sydney, Australia||1,067,179||3.1%||Delta, Qantas, United, Virgin Australia|
|4||Seoul (Incheon), South Korea||998,932||4.3%||Asiana, Korean Air, Thai Airways|
|5||Taipei (Taoyuan), Taiwan||881,530||3.0%||China Airlines, EVA Air|
|6||Mexico City, Mexico||769,068||3.0%||Aeroméxico, American, United, Volaris|
|7||Vancouver, Canada||753,972||1.3%||Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, United, WestJet|
|8||Guadalajara, Mexico||740,325||8.4%||Aeroméxico, Alaska Airlines, Delta, United, Volaris|
|9||Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France||579,311||2.9%||Air France, Air Tahiti Nui|
|10||Toronto (Pearson), Canada||560,059||3.0%||Air Canada, American|
Top domestic destinations
|1||San Francisco, California||1,838,000||American, Delta, Southwest, United, Virgin America|
|2||New York-John F. Kennedy, New York||1,698,000||American, Delta, JetBlue, United, Virgin America|
|3||Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois||1,221,000||American, Frontier, Spirit, United, Virgin America|
|4||Las Vegas, Nevada||1,150,000||American, Delta, Southwest, Spirit, United, Virgin America|
|5||Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas||1,130,000||American, Delta, Spirit, United, Virgin America|
|6||Honolulu, Hawaii||1,098,000||Allegiant, American, Delta, Hawaiian, United|
|7||Seattle/Tacoma, Washington||1,027,000||Alaska, Delta, United, Virgin America|
|8||Denver, Colorado||940,000||American, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, United|
|9||Atlanta, Georgia||936,000||American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest|
|10||Phoenix, Arizona||809,000||American, Delta, Southwest, United, US Airways|
- Terminal 1 None
- Terminal 2 Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse
- Terminal 3 Virgin America LOFT
- Terminal 4 American Airlines Admiral's Club, American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- Terminal 4 (Satellite) American Airlines Admiral's Club
- Terminal 5 Delta Sky Club
- Terminal 6 Alaska Airlines Board Room
- Terminal 7 United Club (2 United Club Lounges)
- Terminal 8 None
- TBIT Star Alliance Lounge, SkyTeam Lounge, Oneworld Lounge, Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge, Emirates Lounge
Transportation between terminals
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 a connector between TBIT and terminal 4 is currently under construction.
Freeways and roads
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 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 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, along with MTA Bus 40, are currently the only direct transport link between the airport and Downtown Los Angeles.
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
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. 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. Currently, shuttle bus "G" runs every 10–15 minutes (synched with the train schedule) from 5 am – 1:30 am.
Taxis and private shuttles
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
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.
Flight Path Learning Center & Museum
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.
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.
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". 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.
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. In 1963 Continental Airlines headquarters moved to a two-story, $2.3 million building on the grounds of the airport. The July 2009 Continental Magazine issue stated that the move "underlined Continental Airlines western and Pacific orientation". On July 1, 1983 the airline's headquarters were relocated to the America Tower in the Neartown area of Houston.
Incidents and accidents
During its history there have been numerous incidents, but only the most notable are summarized below:
- 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. 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.
- 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.
- On November 20, 1940, the prototype NA-73X Mustang, NX19998, first flown October 26, 1940, by test pilot Vance Breese, crashed this date. 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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 crewmembers aboard.
- On the evening of June 6, 1971, Hughes Airwest Flight 706, a Douglas DC-9 jetliner which 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.
- 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 40x greater than that of a devastating car bomb hidden in the trunk of the rented car in which he had traveled from Canada. He had planned to leave one or two suitcases filled with explosives in an LAX passenger waiting area. He was initially sentenced to 22 years in prison, but in February 2010 an appellate court ordered that his sentence be extended.
- 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.
- 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 tarmac 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 held on $1 million bail. 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. Authorities believe that the incidents are not linked to terrorism.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
In popular culture
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.
- List of airports in the Los Angeles area
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- Los Angeles Airport Police
- Peirson Mitchell Hall
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Hubs: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam and Tokyo-Narita
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- All incidents listed here are in the Aviation Safety Network LAX database, unless otherwise noted.
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|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Los Angeles International Airport.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Los Angeles International Airport.|
- Los Angeles International Airport official website
- LAneXt website
- LAX Noise Management Internet Flight Tracking System
- (PDF), effective September 17, 2015
- Los Angeles International Airport travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Resources for this airport:
||Playa del Rey||Westchester||Inglewood|
|Dockweiler State Beach and Pacific Ocean||Lennox|
|Hyperion plant||El Segundo||Hawthorne|