FAA Control Tower and
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fifth busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, offering 692 daily flights to 85 domestic cities and 928 weekly nonstop flights to 67 cities in 34 countries on 59 passenger air carriers.
In 2014, LAX served nearly 70.7 million passengers, processed more than two million tons of air cargo valued at over $96.3 billion, and handled 636,706 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 multi-billion dollar capital improvement program is underway at LAX, generating nearly 40,000 local jobs. The program’s centerpiece is the New Tom Bradley International Terminal 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 passenger and checked-luggage security screening, and immigration and customs processing. There also are several major airfield and facility projects, including a replacement Central Utility Plant, new taxiways and taxi lanes, and multi-million-dollar renovations to other terminals undertaken by both LAWA and the airlines.
For more information about LAX, please visit www.lawa.aero/lax or follow on Twitter @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport, and on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/laxairport1.
Originally known as Mines Field, the LAX site began as a general aviation field in 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. An economic impact study in 2011 reported those operations at LAX generated 294,400 jobs in Los Angeles County with labor income of $13.6 billion and an economic output of more than $39.7 billion. This activity added $2.5 billion to local and state revenues.
LAX is the major international cargo airport serving Southern California – the world’s 16th largest economy. It ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed, and in 2014 processed more than 898.2 million tons of air cargo valued at more than $96.3 billion.
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/Departures Level. Baggage claim and ground transportation are on the Lower/Arrivals Level. Restaurants, cocktail lounges, gift shops, newsstands, duty free shops for international flights, restrooms, public telephones, business centers, airline lounges, and other convenient services for the traveling public are located in the terminals.
Other amenities include a first-aid station in the New Tom Bradley International Terminal and Interactive Visitors Centers (kiosks) with passenger information and direct telephone connections to area hotels/motels, bus/limousine services, and car rental firms serving most Southland communities. Free LAX shuttle service is provided between all terminals and Economy Lot C.
The iconic Theme Building complex, topped by an observation deck, features a space-age design. The Observation Deck offers spectacular views and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A cafeteria on the ground level is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
Air Traffic Control
The 277-foot-tall air traffic control tower is uniquely designed to service LAX’s four parallel runways. Federal Aviation Administration employees control the air space above LAX and ground controllers handle their duties for each of the four runways. 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 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 Economy Parking Lot C.
Free shuttle bus service to airline terminals is provided from Lot C, located one-half mile northeast of the airport. Adjacent to Lot C is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Bus Center, which connects public bus systems with the courtesy LAX shuttle bus service to/from the terminals provided by the airport.
Among the modes of transportation available at LAX are: airport buses, door-to-door shuttle vans, local buses, light rail, rental cars, taxicabs, and limousines. A free, frequent shuttle bus connects LAX with Metro’s Green Line Light Rail, and free shuttle buses transport passengers between airline terminals.
The LAX FlyAway® bus service provides frequent, daily low-cost transportation between LAX and Hollywood, Santa Monica, Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and Westwood/UCLA.
Services for Travelers with Disabilities and the Elderly
LAX provides many services to assist passengers or visitors with disabilities. There are extra-wide parking spaces in all parking facilities, ramp ways and elevators along the curbs, and extra-wide restroom stalls and Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD) or speech-impaired installed in all airline terminals. LAX also provides a free shuttle van equipped with a lift for wheelchairs that operates between Economy Lot C and all airline terminals. A special assistance vehicle also is available to transport passengers with disabilities or functional needs between terminals and aircraft gates located on the airfield.
LAX’s cargo handling facilities include the 98-acre Century Cargo Complex, the 57.4-acre Imperial Complex, the Imperial Cargo Center, and a number of cargo facilities on the south side of the airport. Mercury Air Cargo opened its first facility in March 1998, and in April 2009 opened a 12,700-square-foot refrigeration facility. In 2011, Mercury opened a 16,000-square-foot refrigeration facility and perishables center, the largest of its kind among all U.S. West Coast airports.