Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport
Type of airport commercial
Operator Los Angeles World Airports
Opened October 1, 1928
City Los Angeles, California, United States
Coordinates Template:Coor dms
Direction Length Surface
(ft) (m)
6L-24R 8,925 2,720 Paved
6R-24L 10,285 3,135 Paved
7L-25R 12,090 3,685 Paved
7R-25L 11,095 3,382 Paved
Number of passengers ~55,000,000
Number of takeoffs/Landings 622,378
Comments on this test infobox

This article is the most common use of LAX. For other uses, see LAX (disambiguation).

Los Angeles International Airport Template:Airport codes, is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California. It is generally referred to by Southern Californians as simply "LAX." The airport is estimated to be the world's fifth busiest airport, serving some 55 million passengers and more than 2 million tons of freight in 2003. It is also the fourth busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest international gateway.

LAX has service to destinations in the United States, as well as to Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. It is a hub for United Airlines and a focus city for American Airlines and was previously a hub for Air California, Delta Air Lines, Pacific Southwest Airlines, US Airways, and Western Airlines, and the Flying Tiger Line.

The airport occupies some 3,425 acres (14 km²) of the city on the Pacific coast, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It can be reached using the Century Boulevard exit on Interstate 405, or the Sepulveda Boulevard exit on Interstate 105. There is also a shuttle that connects to the Aviation/I-105 station on the Metro Green Line light rail. The line was originally intended to connect directly to the airport, but budgetary restraints and opposition from local long-term parking lot owners slowed progress. The airport's coastal location exposes it to fog, during which flights are often diverted to Ontario International Airport, some 55.7 miles (90 km) to the east.

Missing image
Delta Boeing 757-232 at LAX in August 2003.


In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres (2.6 km²) 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 now a historic landmark.

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.

Missing image
Sepulveda Boulevard passes under LAX's southern runway and taxiways.

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 runways. It was the first tunnel of its kind.

Los Angeles Airport "Jet-Age" postcard showing the Theme Building
Los Angeles Airport "Jet-Age" postcard showing the Theme Building
Missing image
The Theme Building decorated for Christmas, 2004

The distinctive white "Theme Building", constructed in 1961, resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. It was designed by a team of architects and engineers including Paul Williams and Welton Beckett. A restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the airport is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The L.A. 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 Disney Imagineering, was completed before the "Encounter Restaurant" opened there in 1997.

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.

Groundbreaking for the new Tom Bradley International Terminal was conducted in 1982 by Mayor Tom Bradley and World War II aviator General James Doolittle, and the US$123 million terminal was opened in 1984. 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 US$29 million.

Soon afterward, fourteen plexiglass 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.

The airport and its staff were the focus of a 2004 American television series, LAX.

Plane crashes and terrorism

On August 6, 1974, a bomb exploded near the Pan Am ticketing area at Terminal 2; 2 people were killed and 17 were injured.

On September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, which was on a Sacramento-Los Angeles International Airport-Lindbergh Field, San Diego route, crashed while trying to land at Lindbergh Field, killing everyone on board, 2 on a small aircraft, and 7 on the ground.

On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 crashed upon takeoff enroute to Los Angeles from O' Hare International Airport in Chicago, killing everyone on board and two people on the ground.

On the morning of August 2, 1985, Delta Air Lines Flight 191, on a Fort Lauderdale-Dallas-Los Angeles route, crashed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, killing 136 of the 167 passengers on board.

If Project Bojinka had not been discovered after a fire in Manila, Philippines, one or more aircraft owned by a U.S. carrier/s in this airport would have blown up over the Pacific Ocean on January 21, 1995 as part of the project's first phase.

On 1991 February 1 USAir Flight 1493 collided with SkyWest Flight 5569 while landing on runway 24L, killing 34 people.

On October 2, 1996, AeroPeru Flight 603, a Boeing 757 that was enroute from Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago, Chile via Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport crashed in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Everyone on board died.

On October 31, 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, which was on a Los Angeles-JFK, New York, New York-Cairo route, crashed into the ocean after takeoff from New York.

In the year 2000, Al-Qaeda attempted to bomb LAX during the millennium holiday although the bomber was caught at the US-Canadian border. Ahmed Ressam was captured in Port Angeles, Washington for having explosives in the trunk of his car. The plot was part of the 2000 millennium attack plots.

On October 31, 2000, Singapore Airlines Flight 006, which was on a Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, Taipei- Los Angeles route crashed upon takeoff from Taipei.

Three of the flights crashed during September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 (WTC North Tower), American Airlines Flight 77 (Pentagon), and United Airlines Flight 175 (WTC South Tower), were headed to Los Angeles International Airport.

On July 4, 2002, a gunman 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 (an Egyptian) was upset at US 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 US soil since September 11, 2001.


LAX has nine passenger terminals arranged in a "U" and served by a shuttle bus.

Terminal 1

  • America West Airlines (Acapulco, Boston, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Mazatlan, New York/Kennedy, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, and Vancouver)
  • Southwest Airlines (Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago/Midway, El Paso, Houston/Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (OR), Reno, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose (CA), and Tucson)
  • USAirways (Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh)

Terminal 2

Terminal 3

  • AirTran Airways (Atlanta and Dallas/Ft. Worth)
  • Alaska Airlines (Anchorage, Boise, Calgary, Cancun, Guadalajara, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Portland (OR), Puerto Vallarta, Reno, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, and Washington/Reagan)
  • American Trans Air (Cancun, Chicago/Midway, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kahului)
  • Frontier Airlines (Denver, Philadelphia)
  • Horizon Airlines (Boise, Bozeman, Eugene, Medford, and Sun Valley)
  • Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee)
  • WestJet (Calgary, Vancouver, and Winnipeg)

Terminal 4

  • American Airlines (Austin, Boston, Chicago/O'Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Guatemala City, Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Las Vegas, Lihue, London/Heathrow, Miami, Nashville, Newark, New York/Kennedy, Orlando, San Francisco, San Jose (CR), San Juan, San Salvador, St. Louis, Tokyo/Narita, Toronto, and Washington/Dulles)
  • American Eagle (Carmel/Monterey, Fayetteville, Fresno, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara)
  • Qantas (Arrivals/Departures) (Sydney and New York/Kennedy)

Terminal 5

Terminal 6

  • Aeromexico (Departures)
  • Continental Airlines (Cleveland, Honolulu, Houston/Intercontinental, and Newark)
  • Continental Express (Aguascalientes, Leon/Guanajuato, Montrose/Telluride, and Morelia)
  • Copa Airlines (Departures) (Panama City)
  • United Airlines (Domestic and International Flights) (Amsterdam via Washington/Dulles, Beijing via San Francisco, Buenos Aires via Chicago/O'Hare, Frankfurt via code-share on Lufthansa and San Francisco, Guatemala City, Hong Kong connects in Tokyo or San Francisco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, London/Heathrow, Melbourne via Sydney, Osaka/Kansai via San Francisco, Paris/Charles de Gaulle via San Francisco, San Jose, Costa Rica, San Francisco, San Salvador, Shanghai via San Francisco, and Sydney)

Terminal 7

  • United Airlines (Domestic and International Flights) (Baltimore/Washington, Boston, Chicago/O'Hare, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Honolulu, Kahului, Kona, Lihue, New Orleans, New York/Kennedy, New York/LaGuardia, Newark, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Tokyo/Narita, and Washington/Dulles)
  • Ted (Las Vegas, Phoenix [Starts Sept. 7])

Terminal 8

  • Air Wisconsin dba United Express (Aspen)
  • Skywest dba United Express (Bakersfield, Carlsbad, Colorado Springs, Fresno, Imperial, Inyokern, Monterey, Oakland, Ontario(CA), Orange County (Santa Ana), Oxnard, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, St. George, Tucson, Visalia, and Yuma)

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Other facilities

There are several air cargo facilities at LAX, totalling 2 million square feet (186,000 m²). LAX also has a heliport operated by Bravo Aviation.

External links

Template:Mapit-US-hoodscalede:Los Angeles International Airport fr:Aéroport international de Los Angeles ja:ロサンゼルス国際空港 sv:Los Angeles International Airport


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