Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California, the second-most populated metropolitan area of the United States. It is often referred to by its airport code LAX, with the letters usually pronounced individually (IPA: /ɛl.eɪ.ɛks/). LAX is located in southwestern Los Angeles in the neighborhood of Westchester, from the downtown core.
With 61,895,548 passengers in 2007, LAX is the fifth busiest airport in the world and is served by direct flights to North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and The Middle East. The airport is a major hub for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, as well as a focus city for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
The facility also serves as a base for the United States Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles operating 3 HH-65 Dolphin helicopters.
Although LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the region relies on a multiple airport system because of its vast size. Many of the area's most well-known attractions are closer to alternative airports than to LAX; for example, Hollywood and Griffith Park are closer to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank; while John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana is close to Disneyland, the Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and other Orange County attractions. Long Beach Airport is close to some of the coastal attractions known to Southern California, like Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach. LA/Ontario International Airport is closer to the Inland Empire region's cities of Riverside, and San Bernardino of Southern California. LA/Palmdale Regional Airport serves the Palmdale Area (Antelope Valley) of northern Los Angeles County and south-eastern Kern County.
The airport occupies some of the city on the Pacific
coast, about southwest of downtown Los Angeles. LAX is one of the most famous locations for commercial aircraft spotting
, most notably at the so called "Imperial Hill" area (also known as Clutter's Park) in El Segundo
from which nearly the entire South Complex of the airport can be viewed. Another famous spotting location sits right under the final approach for runways 24 L&R on a small grass lawn next to the Westchester In-N-Out Burger
restaurant, and is noted as 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. The airport's coastal location exposes it to fog, during which flights are occasionally diverted to LA/Ontario International Airport
, San Bernardino County
to the east.
In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected in the southern part of Westchester as the site of 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 listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1949. Prior to that time, the main airport for Los Angeles was the Grand Central Airport in Glendale.
Until this time, the entire airport was located east of Sepulveda Boulevard. As the airport expanded westward to meet the Pacific Ocean, a tunnel was completed in 1953 so that Sepulveda Boulevard would pass underneath the airport's runways. It was the first tunnel of its kind.
In 1958 the architecture firm Pereira & Luckman was contracted to design a master plan for the complete re-design of the airport in anticipation of the "jet age". The plan, developed along with architects Welton Becket and Paul Williams, called for a massive series of terminals and parking structures to be built 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 fully realized, and shortly thereafter the Theme Building was constructed on the site originally intended for the dome.
The distinctive white "Theme Building," designed by Pereira & Luckman architect Paul Williams and constructed in 1961 , resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The Los Angeles City Council designated the building a cultural and historical 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. At one time, tourists and passengers were able to take the elevator up to the roof of the "Theme Building", but after the September 11 attacks, the rooftop was closed off to everyone for security reasons. It was once said the rooftop would reopen for public use, but that was determined to be a rumor.
The first jet service appeared at LAX in 1959, transporting passengers between LAX and New York. The first wide-bodied jets appeared in 1970 when TWA flew Boeing 747s between LAX and New York.
In 1981, the airport began a substantial $700 million expansion in preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics. To streamline traffic flow and ease congestion, the U-shaped roadway leading to the terminal entrances was given a second level, with the lower level dedicated to picking up arriving passengers and the upper level dedicated to dropping off departing passengers. Two new terminals (Terminal 1 and the International Terminal) were constructed 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, International Terminal was opened on June 11, 1984 and named in Bradley's honor.
In 1996, a new 277 foot (84 m) tall air traffic control tower, with overhanging awnings that shade the windows and make the building vaguely resemble a palm tree, was constructed at a cost of $29 million.
In 2000, prior to Los Angeles hosting the Democratic National Convention. fourteen acrylic glass cylinders, each up to ten stories high, were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Century Boulevard, with additional cylinders of decreasing height following Century Boulevard eastward. The cylinders, lit from inside, slowly cycle through a rainbow of colors, and provide an additional landmark for visitors arriving by air at night. This was part of an overall facelift that included new signage and various other cosmetic enhancements.
At various points in its history, LAX has been a hub for TWA, Air California, Continental, Delta, PSA, USAir, Western Airlines, and the Flying Tiger Line.
Starting in the mid-1990s under Los Angeles Mayors Richard Riordan and James Hahn modernization and expansion plans for LAX were prepared only to be stymied by a coalition spearheaded by residents who live near the airport angry at noise, pollution and traffic impacts of the existing facility. In late 2005 newly elected L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was able to reach a compromise allowing some modernization to go forward while efforts are made to encourage future growth be spread among other facilities in the region.
On July 29, 2006, Runway 7R/25L was closed for reconstruction until March 25, 2007. The reconstruction was to move the runway south to prevent runway incursions and prepare the runway for the next generation of Airbus A380. The newly moved runway also has storm drains, and enhanced runway lighting, something that the other 3 runways do not have. The reconstruction of runway 25L made way for a central taxiway in between runways 25L and 25R. The central taxiway between runways 25L and 25R was completed in 2008.
On September 18, 2006, Los Angeles World Airports started a $503 million facelift of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Improvements include installing new paging, air conditioning and electrical systems, along with new elevators, escalators, baggage carousels and a digital sign that will automatically update flight information. Also a large explosives-detection machine will be incorporated into the terminal's underground baggage system, in which the federal government will fund part of the system.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in February 2007, many airlines flying outside of the United States have reduced flights to LAX and moved to other airports, such as San Francisco International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada due to outdated terminals. Airlines flying out of the Tom Bradley International Terminal have reduced flights because the International Terminal is 22 years old and has not been upgraded.
In response to the report, the $500 million Tom Bradley International Terminal project began immediately.
On March 19, 2007, the Airbus A380 made its debut at LAX, landing on runway 24L. LA city officials fought for the super-jumbo jet to land at LAX, in addition to making its US debut in New York's JFK airport.
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 A380. Adding the first new gates built since the early 1980s, the new structure is to be built directly west of the Tom Bradley International Terminal on a site that is occupied mostly by aircraft hangars with passengers ferried to the building by an underground people mover extending from the terminal. It is expected to be completed in 2012.
On March 31, 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported that international airlines were once again flocking to LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal and have added or are announcing several flights to a variety of existing and new destinations. The weak dollar has caused a surge in demand for US travel, and among the new airlines at LAX are Alitalia, V Australia, and Emirates Airlines. In addition, Korean Air, Qantas, Air China, and Air France are all adding new routes, and Brazilian carriers TAM Airlines and OceanAir are planning to begin service, as is a new British airline that will be offering all-business-class round trip flights on the busy Los Angeles-London route. Most of the new flights will start in mid to late 2008 and will raise the number of travelers to the airport to pre-9/11 levels. The influx of new flights comes amidst the renovation of the airport and underscores LAX's status as the international gateway of the US West Coast.
Qantas is set to launch service with the Airbus A380 on October 20, 2008, using the west side remote gates. It will first launch service between LAX and Melbourne, then a few days later, between LAX and Sydney.
The "X" in LAX
Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather station at the airports. So, at that time, LA served as the designation for Los Angeles International Airport. But, with the rapid growth in the aviation industry, the designations expanded to three letters, and LA became LAX. The letter X does not otherwise have any specific meaning in this identifier. Portland International Airport
also has a similar code: PDX
. "LAX" is also used for the International Port of Los Angeles
located in San Pedro and for the Amtrak
-serving Union Station in downtown.
Terminals, airlines, and destinations
LAX handles more "origin and destination" (i.e. not connecting) passengers than any other airport in the world
. It is the world's fifth-busiest airport by passenger traffic
and eleventh-busiest by cargo traffic
, serving over 60 million passengers and more than two million tons of freight in 2006. It is the busiest airport in the state of California, and the third-busiest airport by passenger traffic
in the United States
based on final 2006 statistics. In terms of international passengers, LAX is the second-busiest in the U.S.
(behind only JFK International Airport
in New York City
), and 26th worldwide
LAX serves 87 domestic and 69 international destinations in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Its most prominent airlines are United Airlines (24.6% of passenger traffic, combined with United Express traffic), American Airlines (20.07%) and Southwest Airlines (16.55%). Other airlines with a presence on a lesser scale include Delta Airlines (9.97%), Alaska Airlines (4.7%), and Continental Airlines (3.8%). Qantas operates the most flights of any non-American airline.
United Airlines/United Express operates the most departures from the airport per day (210), followed by American Airlines/ American Eagle (126), and Southwest Airlines (105).
United Airlines operates to the most destinations (61), followed by American Airlines (34), and then Alaska Airlines/Horizon (29) . United Airlines operates the most international trans-Pacific destinations (3).Lufthansa, Air France, and United each serve two destinations in Europe for the most there, and Alaska Airlines and Mexicana Airlines have the most destinations in Latin America (11).
LAX has nine passenger terminals arranged in a "U," also called a "horseshoe." The terminals are served by a shuttle bus.
In addition to these terminals, there are 2 million square feet (186,000 m²) of cargo facilities at LAX, and a heliport operated by Bravo Aviation. Continental Airlines and Qantas each have maintenance facilities at LAX although neither carrier operates a hub there.
Terminal 1 has 15 gates: 1-3, 4A-4B, 5-14. Terminal 1 was built in 1984 and is the largest of all the terminals in number of gates.
- Southwest Airlines (Albuquerque, Austin, Chicago-Midway, Denver, El Paso, Houston-Hobby, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, Oakland, Phoenix, Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose (CA), Tucson)
- US Airways (Charlotte, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh)
Some TACA/LACSA arrivals are processed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Terminal 2 has 11 gates: 21-21B, 22-22B, 23, 24-24B, 25-28. Terminal 2 was built in 1962 and was the original international terminal, it was completely torn down and rebuilt in 1984. Terminal 2 serves as the airport's secondary international terminal after the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
- Air Canada (Calgary, Montréal, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver)
- Air China (Beijing)
- Air France (London-Heathrow, Papeete, Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
- Air New Zealand (Apia, Auckland, London-Heathrow, Nuku'alofa (Tonga), Rarotonga)
- Avianca (Bogotá)
- Hawaiian Airlines (Honolulu)
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam)
- Northwest Airlines (Detroit, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Manila, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Tokyo-Narita)
- TACA (Guatemala City, San Salvador, Managua [seasonal])
- Sunwing Airlines (Vancouver) [begins November 15]
- Virgin Atlantic (London-Heathrow)
- WestJet (Calgary, Edmonton [seasonal; begins November 3], Toronto-Pearson [ends November 2])
Alaska Airlines' international arrivals from airports without United States border preclearance
are processed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Terminal 3 has 13 gates: 30, 31A, 31B, 32, 33A, 33B, 34-36, 37A, 37B, 38, 39. Terminal 3 opened in 1961 and was Trans World Airlines' terminal. It formerly housed some American Airlines flights after acquiring Reno Air and TWA in 1999 and 2001, respectively, then moved all American flights to Terminal 4.
- Alaska Airlines (Anchorage, Cancún, Guadalajara, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, La Paz, Loreto, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Mexico City, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, San José del Cabo, Seattle/Tacoma, Vancouver, Washington-Reagan)
- Horizon Air (Boise, Eugene, Eureka/Arcata, Flagstaff, Loreto, Mammoth Lakes [begins December 18], Medford, Portland (OR), Prescott, Redding, Redmond/Bend, Reno/Tahoe, Santa Rosa, Sun Valley)
- V Australia (Brisbane [begins March 1], Sydney [begins February 28])
- Virgin America (New York-JFK, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington-Dulles)
Note: American Eagle commuter flights operate from a remote terminal 0.3 mi (500 m) west of Terminal 4. "Gate 44" serves as the shuttle bus stop at Terminal 4. The Eagle terminal is also connected by shuttle buses to Terminals 2 (Gate 22A), 3 (Gate 35), 5, and 6, because of Eagle's codesharing with Northwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Air, Delta Air Lines, and Continental Airlines respectively.
Terminal 4 has 14 gates: 40, 41, 42A, 42B, 43, 44 (bus to American Eagle satellite terminal), 45, 46A, 46B, 47A, 47B, 48A, 48B, 49B. Terminal 4 was built in 1961 and in 2001 was renovated at a cost of $400 million in order to improve the appearance and functionality of the terminal.
- American Airlines (Austin, Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Las Vegas, Lihue, London-Heathrow, Los Cabos, Miami, Nashville, New York-JFK, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, San Juan (PR) [resumes November 3], San Salvador, St. Louis, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Vail/Eagle [seasonal], Washington-Dulles)
- American Eagle (El Paso [begins November 2], Fayetteville (AR), Fresno, Las Vegas, Monterey, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Luis Obispo [ends November 2], Santa Barbara)
- Midwest Airlines (Kansas City)
- Qantas (Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne)
Terminal 5 has 14 gates: 50B, 51A-51B, 52A-52B, 53A-53B, 54A-54B, 55A, 56, 57, 58A, 59. Delta Air Lines has used this terminal since its opening in 1962, and then its reopening in 1987. Many of these gates are no longer used due to the economic crisis of 2008.
- Aeroméxico (Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Hermosillo, León, Mexico City)
- Air Jamaica (Montego Bay)
- Alitalia (Rome-Fiumicino)
- Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, Cancún, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, Fort Lauderdale [restarts December 19], Guadalajara, Guatemala City [Resumes December 6], Honolulu, Lihue [restarts October 1], Kahului, Kona, Liberia (CR), New Orleans, New York-JFK, Orlando, Puerto Vallarta, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Tucson [seasonal])
Terminal 6 has 14 gates: 60, 61, 62-62A, 63-66, 67A-67B, 68A-68B, 69A-69B. This terminal has changed little from its opening in 1961; in 1979, 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 accommodate large aircraft. Both United and Delta utilize gates in Terminal 6 in addition to their primary bases of Terminal 7 and 5 respectively.
Terminal 7 has 11 gates: 70A-70B, 71A-71B, 72-74, 75A-75B, 76, 77. This terminal opened in 1962. Five of these gates have two jetways, which accommodate large aircraft.
- United Airlines (Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, Frankfurt [ends October 25], Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Lihue, London-Heathrow, Melbourne, Mexico City [resumes December 19], New Orleans, New York-JFK, Newark [ends October 31], Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo-Narita, Washington-Dulles)
- Ted operated by United Airlines (Cancún, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Las Vegas, Los Cabos, New Orleans)
Terminal 8 has 9 gates: 80-88. This terminal was added for smaller jets and turboprops in 1988 and formerly served Shuttle by United flights. In 2002, United moved all non-Express flights to Terminals 6 and 7.
- United Airlines
- United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines (Albuquerque, Aspen [seasonal], Austin [ends November 2], Bakersfield, Boise, Carlsbad, Colorado Springs, Dallas/Fort Worth, Fresno, Imperial, Inyokern, Monterey, Montrose [seasonal], Oakland [ends November 2], Oklahoma City, Oxnard, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Reno/Tahoe, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose (CA), San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Seattle/Tacoma, St. George, Tucson, Vancouver, Yuma)
Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT)
The Tom Bradley International Terminal has 12 gates, including six on the north concourse and six on the south concourse. 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.
This terminal opened for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games and is named in honor of 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. There are 34 airlines that serve the Tom Bradley International Terminal and the terminal handles 10 million passengers per year.
The terminal is currently undergoing major renovations to undergo a facelift (to compete with San Francisco International Airport's flagship international terminal), though no new gates will be added. The renovations are expected to be completed by 2009-2010. Also, a new ten-gate concourse will be added to replace a west-side remote gate area and will be completed in 2012.
- Aer Lingus (Dublin) [ends November 2]
- Aeroflot (Moscow-Sheremetyevo)
- Air Pacific (Nadi)
- Air Tahiti Nui (Papeete, Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
- Alaska Airlines [Mexico arrivals]
- All Nippon Airways (Tokyo-Narita)
- Asiana Airlines (Seoul-Incheon)
- British Airways (London-Heathrow)
- Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
- China Airlines (Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan)
- China Eastern Airlines (Shanghai-Pudong)
- China Southern Airlines (Guangzhou)
- Copa Airlines [arrivals]
- El Al (Tel Aviv)
- Emirates (Dubai) [begins October 26]
- EVA Air (Osaka-Kansai, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan)
- Japan Airlines (Tokyo-Narita)
- Korean Air (São Paulo-Guarulhos, Seoul-Incheon, Tokyo-Narita)
- LAN Airlines (Lima, Santiago de Chile)
- LTU International (Düsseldorf) [ends October 30]
- Lufthansa (Frankfurt, Munich)
- Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan)
- Mexicana (Cancún, Guadalajara, León, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Mexico City, Monterrey, Morelia, Puerto Vallarta, Zacatecas)
- Philippine Airlines (Manila)
- Qantas (Melbourne, Sydney)
- Singapore Airlines (Singapore, Tokyo-Narita)
- Swiss International Air Lines (Zürich)
- Thai Airways International (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Osaka-Kansai [begins October 2008])
- Vietnam Airlines (Ho Chi Minh City, Osaka Kansai) [begins October 27]
- Stops in Guam. No traffic rights between Los Angeles and Guam.
- Terminal 1 (US Airways Club)
- Terminal 2 (Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Air New Zealand Koru Club, Hawaiian Airlines Premier Club, Northwest Airlines WorldClub)
- Terminal 3 (Alaska Airlines Board Room)
- Terminal 4 (American Airlines Admiral's Club, Qantas Club)
- Terminal 5 (Delta Air Lines Crown Room Club)
- Terminal 6 (Continental Airlines President's Club)
- Terminal 7 (United Airlines International First Class Lounge, United Airlines Red Carpet Club)
- TBIT (Star Alliance Lounge, SkyTeam Alliance Lounge, Oneworld Alliance Lounge, Los Angeles Airport Lounge for non-aligned airlines)
LAX can be reached using the Century Boulevard exit (and several more northern exits) on Interstate 405
, or the Sepulveda Boulevard exit on Interstate 105
. Like all other California airports (with the exception of San Francisco International), LAX does not have direct freeway access; all visitors entering by car must pass at least one traffic light-controlled intersection to transition from the freeway into the airport's main loop road.
Out of a number of bus systems, many routes (local, rapid and express) of the LACMTA
, Line 6 of the Culver CityBus
system, Line 8 of Torrance Transit
, and the regular as well as the rapid buses of the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus
system's Line 3 all make stops at, among other nearby stop locations, the LAX City Bus Center in Parking Lot C. on 96th St., where shuttle bus "C" offers free connections to and from every LAX terminal.
The FlyAway Bus is a shuttle service run by the LAWA, which travels between one of three terminals, and stops at every LAX terminal. The service is operated 24 hours a day with each line operating at least one trip per hour, with more trips in daytime, with the exception of the line to and from Westwood, which does not run in the early morning hours. The one way ticket price is $4 cash for adults, $2 for children aged two to twelve and free for children under age two. All terminals offer optional remote passenger and baggage check-in services for $5 per person. All lines use Los Angeles's system of High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to expedite their trips.
- Van Nuys/LAX- Travels between LAX and the FlyAway terminal located at the Van Nuys Airport located in Van Nuys. The terminal offers parking in a large parking structure for $4 a day, with a 30 day limit. The route is intended to reduce traffic on Interstate 405 and to provide convenient park-and-ride services to citizens of the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and Antelope valleys.
- Union Station/LAX- Travels between LAX and the Patsaouras Transit Plaza at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. At Union Station connections can be made to Metro Rail, Metrolink, Amtrak, and Amtrak California rail services (i.e. to Burbank-Bob Hope Airport), the Metro Transitway system, and bus services operated by Amtrak California, Metro, and other regional operators. The trip takes between 25 and 45 minutes depending on traffic. Although the route is mostly intended for travelers who wish to make a connection to rail or bus services, Union Station also offers parking for $6 a day, with a 30-day limit.
- Westwood/LAX- Travels between LAX and the FlyAway terminal located at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Westwood The route is mainly intended for students, staff, and faculty of UCLA and residents of Westwood Village. The buses leave from UCLA Parking Structure 32. Parking is available for immediate drop-off and pick-up, and overnight parking is offered over weekends from 3 pm Friday until 7 am Monday.
China Airlines private bus
operates private bus services from LAX to Monterey Park
and Rowland Heights
for its passengers.
Shuttle bus "G" offers a free connection to the Aviation/LAX
station on the Metro Green Line
. The line was originally intended to connect directly to the airport, but budgetary restraints and opposition from local long-term parking lot owners impeded its progress. A Metro Rail extension to LAX is a part of both LAX and Metro
's master plans.
Taxis and private shuttles
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 riders. A number of private shuttle companies, among them Prime Time Shuttle (
), and Roadrunner Shuttle (
) provide door-to-door airport transportation as well. Roadrunner Shuttle, apart from shared ride vans, also offers Limousine and Bus services to LAX airport. X-Press Shuttle operated door-to-door airport transportation until 2001, when they lost their contract to maintain a shared ride vans station at LAX.
Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles
- ''See Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles
The United States Coast Guard
operates an air station at LAX, covering Coast Guard operations in various Southern California locations, including Catalina Island
, which are part of the Coast Guard's Eleventh District. 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 air station currently maintains and operates 3 HH-65 Dolphin
Flight Path Learning Center
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 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". However, there are other museums at major airports 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 Suomenilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation Museum) at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the Frontier of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, and others.
Incidents involving LAX
During its history there have been numerous incidents, but only the most notable are summarized below:
- On January 13, 1969, a Scandinavian Airlines System Douglas DC-8-62 crashed into Santa Monica Bay, approximately 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, a United Airlines Boeing 727-22C bearing the registration number N7434U, crashed into Santa Monica Bay approximately west of LAX at 6:21 p.m. 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; two people were killed and 17 were injured.
- On March 1, 1978, two tires burst in succession on a Continental Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 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 morning of September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, which was on a Sacramento-Los Angeles International Airport-Lindbergh Field, San Diego route, collided in midair with a Cessna 172 while descending for a landing at Lindbergh Field; both planes crashed in San Diego's North Park district, killing all 135 on board the PSA jetliner, both occupants of the Cessna aircraft, and seven people on the ground.
- On the evening of March 10, 1979, Swift Aire Flight 235, a twin-engine Aerospatiale Nord 262A-33 turboprop enroute 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, Aeromexico 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 64 passengers and crew aboard the Aeromexico flight were killed, in addition to 15 on the ground. 5 homes were destroyed and an additional 7 were damaged by the crash and resulting fire. The three occupants of the Piper were killed immediately when the two planes collided; their aircraft went down in a nearby schoolyard and caused no further injuries on the ground. As a result of this incident, FAA required all commercial aircraft to be equipped with Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS).
- On December 7, 1987, Pacific Southwest Airlines PSA Flight 1771, bound from LAX to San Francisco International Airport, was cruising above the central California coast when a USAir employee aboard the plane shot his ex-supervisor, both pilots and then himself, causing the airplane to crash near the town of Cayucos. All 43 aboard perished. Following this event, airline staff and crew were no longer allowed to bypass security checks at U.S. airports.
- On February 1, 1991, USAir Flight 1493, a Boeing 737 landing on Runway 24L at LAX, collided on touchdown with a SkyWest Airlines Fairchild Metroliner, Flight 5569 departing to Palmdale, 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
- On February 20, 1992, Aerolíneas Argentinas Flight 386, cholera-tainted shrimp was distributed on the Buenos Aires-Lima-Los Angeles flight. One elderly passenger died from food poisoning.
- In the year 2000, Al-Qaeda attempted to bomb LAX during the millennium holiday, although the bomber was caught at the U.S. port of entry. Ahmed Ressam was captured in Port Angeles, Washington, with a cache of explosives in the trunk of his rented car which had traveled with him from Victoria, British Columbia, aboard the ferry "Coho". The plot was part of the 2000 millennium attack plots. Ressam was sentenced to 22 years in prison on July 27, 2005.
- On the afternoon of 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 north of Anacapa Island off the California coast, killing all 88 people aboard the aircraft.
- Singapore Airlines Flight 006, bound for Los Angeles, crashed in Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Airport on October 31, 2000.
- Three of the four planes used on September 11 were originally headed for Los Angeles, including American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 77.
- On July 4, 2002, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet killed 2 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, 2001, terrorist attacks. The attack was similar to the Rome and Vienna Airport Attacks.
- On September 21, 2005, a JetBlue Airbus A320 (JetBlue Airways Flight 292) 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 does not serve LAX, 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 and nobody was hurt.
- On August 16, 2007, a runway incursion occurred between West Jet Flight 900 and Northwest Airlines Flight 180 on runways 24R and 24L, respectively, with the aircraft coming within of each other. The planes were carrying a combined total of 296 people, none of whom were injured. The NTSB is currently investigating the incident. 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.
LAX is part of the Chicago-based band The Academy Is...
's single "LAX to O'Hare". It is also used in the filming of many Hollywood movies.