History of LAX Airport

The history of Los Angeles International Airport beganin 1928 when the Los Angeles City Council selected landof 640 acres in a southern part of the neighborhood – Westchester, to build an airport for Los Angeles. The fields were converted to dirt landing strips and named after William W. Mines, as Mines Field – the real estate agent who managed to arrange the deal. The field opened as the Los Angeles Airport in 1930, andthe city bought it to make a municipal airport in 1937. The first appearance at a “commercial airport” according to Los Angeles Timewas in 1956 when Boeing 707 prototype landed in LAX. First jet passengers from LAX flew to New York with American Airlines. TWA’s Boeing 747s were the first wide-body jets flying to New York atthe beginning of the 1970s.

The Airport was re-designed by the architecture firm Pereira & Luckman. Series of terminals and parking structures were featured in the design by Welton Becket, andPaul Williams and all these buildingswere connectedby a sizeablesteel-and-glass dome in the center. Every terminal had its satellite building that could be reached by underground tunnels from the ticketing area. By 1964 the airport had international flights from airlines such as Air France, Aeronaves, JAL, TWA, UTA, Varig, and Western.

The Surfridge neighborhood appeared on the coastline west to the airport in 1920 as a part of a more significantcommunity called PalisadesDel Rey, andfrom the north,there was another neighborhood – Playa del Rey. Because of the surrounding neighborhoods, switching to jet airlines became a problem as the people living there started to complain about the noise coming from the airport. City’s government used its eminent domain powers, evacuated Surfridge and bulldozed homes there.

Further expansions began in 1980 to prepare for the 1984Summer Olympics and cost $700 million. The additional level appeared on a U-shaped roadway past the terminal entrances, sothe arriving passengers were on the lower level and the departing passengers on the upper one. The existing terminal was rebuilt, and two new ones were addedto the airport. Several-floored parking structures also appeared after the expansion.

The problem of noise appeared again atthe beginning of 2000’. This time people started complaining about trafficand pollutiontoo. Although it is illegal to limit the numberof travelers at the airport, in 2005 the city government limited the number of gates to 163, to limit the number of passengers per year. The number of passengers in 2015 reached more than 74 million.