01/03/2020 10:00 AM

Jan. 3, 2020

Charles H. Pannunzio
(424) 646-5260

(Los Angeles, CA)  Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will conduct a full-scale test of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system on Jan. 15.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is now among the government agencies across the country granted authority by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to utilize the WEA system, in which emergency text messages and an alert tone are pushed to compatible mobile devices – such as cell phones – within a pre-defined geographic area.

The purpose of these messages is to alert people about imminent threats to safety in their area. This is the same system utilized for presidential alerts, AMBER alerts and extreme weather warnings issued by the National Weather Service. 

The LAX test of the emergency messaging system will take place at 10 a.m. on Jan. 15 and will be sent to mobile devices within the area bounded by La Cienega Boulevard to the east, Imperial Highway to the south, Pershing Drive to the west and Westchester Parkway/Arbor Vitae Street to the north. It is possible that some devices outside of this immediate area may receive the alert as well, as the signals are sent by cell phone towers in the area.

The LAX test message will read: “This is a test of the LAX Wireless Emergency Alert system. No action is required.”

"Safety is the No. 1 priority at Los Angeles World Airports, and the Wireless Emergency Alerts system provides us with another way to send critical information during an emergency directly to airport guests," said Justin Pierce, Director for Emergency Management, LAWA. "While we hope that we will never need to use this system, conducting a full-scale test of the system will ensure that we have the capability to reach tens of thousands of airport employees and passengers with potentially life-saving information."

LAX will join a handful of other U.S. airports which have tested the WEA alert system, including Dallas Love Field and Denver International Airport. Since its launch in 2012, the WEA system has been used more than 49,000 times nationwide to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations. 


Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems help assess the operational readiness of the system and identify any improvements needed. LAWA needs to be sure that in times of emergency or disaster, the airport has reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public. Conducting a test supports the continued use, training and improvement of LAWA's ability to send emergency messages. 

In an actual emergency, the WEA messages would advise recipients of actions they should take to save lives and/or property. If an unforeseen emergency or hazardous situation occurs on the morning of Jan. 15, the test may be postponed until a later date. 


For additional information about WEA, click here. 

The Jan. 15 WEA test message from LAX is expected to be received by mobile device users who are inside the above perimeter. 

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.  


LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues. 


LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named  a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.


LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with 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.   

For more information about LAX, please visit or follow on Twitter   @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at, and on YouTube at   

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.



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