Los Angeles, CA – OEP:KLAX

8-15-2015 KLAX
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
(3,500 acres) Los Angeles, CA

Four Nearby Instrument Airports:
[KHHR] 4 E ; [KSMO] 5 NW ; [KTOA] 9 S ;
[KLGB] 15 SE ;
(ave. distance: 8 nm)
Total Based Aircraft:4
(1 jet, 3 military aircraft)
Operations & ATC:
(est. 1,744 ops/day (97% commercial)
24hr FAA towerFAA staffing as of 9/20/14:49
FAA’s ATADS data shows Peak Year was 1997. Total airport operations in 2014 were DOWN 19% from the peak year.
Click on this button for links to background info: [KLAX]-REFERENCE
Additional buttons:NextGen-Noisesearch (aiR)OEP-35
AIRNAV Form 5010 WIKI NOAA (weather)
FlightAware.comFlightStats.comFlightRadar24.com

LAX ATADS data, 1991-2014:

Year Commercial Ops % Commercial TOTAL OPS Change from Peak Year
1991 590,374 90% 657,348 -16%
1992 600,437 88% 680,489 -13%
1993 620,635 91% 682,446 -13%
1994 632,639 92% 689,888 -12%
1995 703,131 96% 732,639 -7%
1996 735,889 96% 763,868 -3%
1997 752,805 96% 783,002 0%
1998 744,368 96% 773,729 -1%
1999 757,968 97% 779,150 -1%
2000 764,272 98% 783,684 PEAK YEAR
2001 720,207 97% 738,679 -6%
2002 626,276 97% 644,854 -18%
2003 605,344 97% 623,370 -20%
2004 637,866 97% 654,787 -16%
2005 632,871 97% 650,539 -17%
2006 638,086 97% 656,842 -16%
2007 661,123 97% 680,954 -13%
2008 603,793 97% 622,506 -21%
2009 524,978 96% 544,833 -30%
2010 553,063 96% 575,835 -27%
2011 583,167 97% 603,912 -23%
2012 584,497 97% 605,480 -23%
2013 594,222 97% 614,917 -22%
2014 616,498 97% 636,706 -19%

Aeronautical chart from VFRmap.com. (Click to open in a new window).

Scrollable aerial view at bing.com. (Click to open in a new window).


Airport Narrative (Overview & History)

LAX is the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo volume. The airport is managed by the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) agency, which also manages the two smaller airports at Van Nuys [KVNY] and Ontario [KONT].

The first airport hangar was constructed in 1929 on farmland where wheat, barley and lima beans had been the main crops. The Theme Building was opened in 1961; looking like a flying saucer on four legs, this iconic structure (like Seattle’s Space Needle, of the same era), symbolized the arrival of jet air travel as a new way of life for Americans.

Theme Building

It was a marketing miracle; a promise of unlimited growth and opportunity and freedom to go anywhere, at any time. It looked great in black-and-white.

The development in the LA Basin has since been astounding, and has created many conflicts between aviation and local residents. Those conflicts have not been helped by governmental authorities; there is a long history where the commercial interests of aviation are favored over the quality of living for local residents.

In 2014, KLAX was averaging 1,744 operations per day. Although the level of air traffic using KLAX has declined substantially (down 19%, see the table above), the airspace design to accommodate the KLAX flow has huge repercussions on residents throughout the LA Basin. FAA’s approach to designing airspace is essentially to first accommodate commercial flows, then accommodate fixed-wing GA traffic vertically separated under those commercial flows, and expect helicopters to take care of themselves on the bottom. The result is effectively a compression of those helicopters into low-level flying through residential neighborhoods where millions live. The land and the climate here are beautiful; the noise and privacy intrusion of these helicopters substantially diminishes quality of life. Similarly, the repetitive noise impacts of concentrated flight patterns are making it impossible for many to live comfortably.

So, KLAX is a great airport for the commerce and connection it provides to so many people. But, it has enormous impacts, and we all rely on LAWA and FAA to fully manage these impacts. Most often, both LAWA and FAA are failing to serve the local residents.