The Los Angeles International Airport is the busiest and largest airport located in Los Angeles. It is the largest in California, and on the list of largest airports worldwide. It is best known as LAX, which is the southwestern Los Angeles area’s IATA airport code. The airport is both owned, and operated by an agency (Los Angeles World Airports) which was previously the Department of Airports.
In 2016, the Los Angeles International Airport had 80,921,527 passengers, which is an 8% increase from 2015. Thus, LAX is the fourth busiest airport worldwide for passenger traffic. In addition, it holds the title of ‘world’s busiest origin and destination (O&D) airport’, and has held this title for years.
LAX is a common place for travelers to start or finish their trips in Los Angeles. It is also in the top 5 list of U.S cargo and passenger traffic in the United States. It’s one of few airports in the U.S that has four parallel runways available as well.
However, LAX is not the only airport in the area as others include John Wayne Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport, Ontario International Airport, and Long Beach Airport.
Many top airlines use LAX as a hub for transfers, including Delta Airlines, American, Airline, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, and United Airlines. In addition, airlines use LAX as a focus city, which includes Air New Zealand, Allegiant Air, Southwest Airlines, Volaris, Sprint Airlines, and Qantas. There are even more Mainline US Carriers that use LAX as a focus city or hub, more than any other in the country.
Legacy carrier also have a designated hub. Being the busiest and largest international airport on the west coast, LAX also acts as a major gateway to Latin America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. It is considered a gateway for the Pacific Rim.
The Los Angeles International Airport project began in 1928 after the Los Angeles Council choose 640 acres located in southern Westchester. Landing strips were created from the fields of barley, wheat and lima beans. Originally, no terminal buildings were present, and was named Mines Field after the real estate agent used for negotiating the deal – William W. Mines.
In 1929, Hanger No. 1 was the first structure built and is now in the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1930, the city of Los Angeles opened the airport and by 1937 it became a municipal airfield.
In 1941, it was given the name Los Angeles Airport, followed by the Los Angeles International Airport in 1949.
During the 1930s, the major airline airports included Grand Central Airport locate in Glendale, and Burbank Airport which was originally Union Air Terminal, then Lockheed.
By November, 1950 the runways now known as 25L and 25R were extended to 6,000 feet. In 1953 a tunnel was finished that allowed Sepulveda Boulevard to pass under the two runways, reverting back to straight, making it the first type of tunnel of its kind.