FAA Building and
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering more than 600 daily flights to 91 domestic cities and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 58 cities in 32 countries on nearly 75 air carriers. It ranks 13th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed.
In 2011, LAX served more than 61 million passengers, processed more than 1.8 million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $84.6 billion, and handled 603,912 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs). LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.
A $4.11-billion capital improvement program is underway at LAX, generating nearly 40,000 local jobs. The program’s centerpiece is the $1.5-billion Bradley West Project with new gates for latest-generation aircraft; new concourses and seating areas; new retail and food-and-beverage offerings reflecting Los Angeles’ cuisine and culture; and expanded areas for more efficient security screening, immigration and customs processing. There also are several major airfield and facility projects, including a new Central Utility Plant, new taxiways and taxi lanes, and multi-million-dollar renovations – undertaken by both LAWA and the airlines – to other terminals.
Originally known as Mines Field, the LAX site has been used as a general aviation field since 1928. During World War II, it was used for military flights. Commercial airline service started in December 1946. The present terminal complex was constructed in 1961. In the early 1980s, LAX added domestic and international terminals and a second-level roadway.
LAX is a dynamic airport that creates, attracts and supports economic activity throughout Southern California.
Total passenger volume for 2011 was 61,862,052, compared to 59,069,409 in 2010. International travel increased to 16,731,324 passengers from 15,935,262 passengers in 2010.
International flights make a substantial contribution to the economy of Southern California, adding $82.1 billion in total economic output, plus 363,700 direct and indirect jobs with annual wages of $19.3 billion in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties, according to a 2007 study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.
Total air cargo tonnage was 1,080,734 in 2011, compared to 1,926,825 in 2010. Air freight was 1,049,257 tons, down from 1,852,791 in 2010. .Air mail tonnage was 31,477 tons in 2011, down from 74,034 tons in 2010.
An estimated 59,000 jobs directly attributable to LAX are located on or near the airport. Approximately 408,000 jobs, spread throughout the region, are attributable to LAX. Employment in the City of Los Angeles due to the airport is estimated to be 158,000 jobs. One in 20 jobs in Southern California is attributed to LAX operations.
Central Terminal Area
The central complex features nine passenger terminals connected by a U-shaped two-level roadway. Curbside baggage check-in is available on the upper departure level. Baggage claim is on the lower level. Brand-named and ethnic-styled restaurants, cocktail lounges, gift shops, newsstands, duty free shops for international flights, restrooms, public telephones and business centers offer convenient services for the traveling public.
Other amenities include a first-aid station in the Tom Bradley International Terminal and special telephones connected to area hotels/motels, bus/limousine services and car rental firms serving most Southland communities. Free shuttle service is provided between all terminals and remote parking lots.
The Encounter Restaurant is located 70 feet above the ground in the center of the historic Theme Building complex. The restaurant, topped by an observation deck, features a space-age interior design. The Observation Deck offers spectacular views and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Air Traffic Control
The 277-foot control tower is uniquely designed to service LAX’s four parallel runways. Individual local control and ground controllers handle their duties for each of the four runways. Clearance delivery, flight data and gate-hold positions are operated from the central position of the tower cab.
Coast Guard Facilities
The U.S. Coast Guard Air Station, the only one of its kind in the country, provides around–the-clock vigilance on search/rescue missions. Its personnel conduct maritime law enforcement on oil pollution in coastal waters. The station is located adjacent to the north runway complex.
Nearly 8,000 parking stalls are available in eight parking structures located opposite the roadways from the passenger terminals. In addition to the central terminal area parking, LAX has a capacity of over 4,500 parking stalls available in Parking Lot C.
Free shuttle service to airline terminals is provided from Lot C. Perimeter parking Lot C, northeast of the airport, also contains the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Center, which connects public bus systems with the courtesy LAX shuttle bus service provided by the airport.
Among the modes of transportation available at LAX are airport bus service, door-to-door shuttle van service, local bus lines, light rail, rental cars, and taxicabs. A free, frequent shuttle bus connects LAX with METRO's Green Line Light Rail. Shuttle service is provided at no charge for passengers making connecting flights between terminal buildings.
The LAX FlyAway bus service provides frequent nonstop transportation between LAX and Van Nuys Bus Terminal, Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and Westwood/UCLA, and the City of Irvine.
Services for the Disabled
LAX provides many services to assist passengers or visitors with disability. Along with special parking spaces, ramp ways and elevators, a free shuttle equipped with a lift for disabled persons in wheelchairs operates between Lot C and airline terminals. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) or speech-impaired are available in all terminals.
Fast becoming a major cargo distribution center, LAX has 1,000 cargo flights each day linking Los Angeles with the world. Its handling facilities include the 98-acre Century Cargo Complex, the 57.4-acre Imperial Complex, the Imperial Cargo Center and a number of terminals on the south side of the airport.