Five facts about about LAX airport

There’s more to Los Angeles International Airport than meets the eye.

A reader recently asked us, “Why is LAX so far from central LA?” Intrigued by this question, I began to delve into the airport’s history, going back almost a century, to a time when LAX was a barley and Beanfield was and flying was a rare – and sometimes frightening – privilege for very few.

I came across many surprising details about the evolution of air travel in the LA area. For example, I never knew that in mid-century Los Angeles a “superport” was proposed in Palmdale to reduce congestion at Los Angeles International Airport.

That’s right – if history had gone differently, you might be headed to Palmdale for your next flight.

As is often the case with stories, many interesting facts about LAX and LA air travel didn’t make it into the final draft.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Did you know LAX has a hit of their own?

“LA International Airport,” a three-minute song by Leanne Scott, was first recorded in 1970. A year later, country artist Susan Raye recorded it in Bakersfield, after which it became a crossover hit.

According to LAX, it peaked at #9 on the US country chart and #54 on the pop chart.

In 2003, Raye performed “LA International Airport” with a band from Bakersfield to celebrate LAX’s 75th anniversary. Listen to it here.

Here’s some news you can take advantage of: When is the busiest and least crowded time at the airport?

The busiest days are Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday — and Thursday is the busiest, according to Heath Montgomery, LAX director of public relations. The busiest time for departures is between 7am and 10am and the busiest time for arrivals is between 8pm and 11pm

If possible, plan accordingly.

Cars and buses direct traffic at Los Angeles International Airport amid the Thanksgiving holiday rush in Los Angeles

Thursday is the busiest day at Los Angeles International Airport.

(Allen J. Cockroaches / Los Angeles Times)

Small birds can create big problem for airports. “LAX is contracting with the USDA for two full-time wildlife biologists to mitigate wildlife on and around the airfield,” Montgomery said. “In addition, airport operations staff who monitor the airfield 24 hours a day are trained to use pyrotechnics to scare away birds if they are spotted near the runways.”

Speaking of wildlife, one of the few populations of the blue butterfly El Segundo lives next door to LAX.

An endangered blue butterfly El Segundo

The blue butterfly El Segundo lives next to LAX.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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Since 2020, multiple sightings of an individual resembling someone flying through the air on a jetpack have been reported by pilots in the LAX area.

The first sighting was radioed in by an American Airlines pilot on August 30, 2020. “Tower, American 1997. We just passed a guy in a jetpack,” the pilot said. Shortly after that first call, a Jet Blue pilot said, “We just saw the guy in the jetpack drive past us.”

Since then, a handful of other sightings have been reported, including one end of June.

“The FBI has been working closely with the FAA to investigate reported jetpack sightings in the Los Angeles area, none of which have been verified,” it said an FBI statement published in 2021. “One working theory is that pilots may have seen balloons.”

Finally, a quick reminder to look up and appreciate the LAX themed building next time you’re traveling to and from the airport.

The space-age themed building – which bears a resemblance to typical depictions of UFOs – is considered a “true modern icon,” according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. It was completed in 1961 by the Pereira and Luckman architectural firm.

The theme building’s restaurant area and observation deck have been open to the public at various locations over the past decade, but are now closed to the general public. The USO currently occupies part of the building.

In a summary of beloved LA landmarksWriters at the LA Times wrote that the building “is where so many LA dreams begin, while inspiring nostalgia for the past and hope for the future.”

A masked traveler and the themed building are reflected in a window in a sparsely populated Terminal 4 at LAX airport

Next time you’re at LAX, take a look at the themed building and appreciate its iconic space-age design.

(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-14/did-you-know-that-lax-has-a-hit-song-five-facts-you-might-not-know-about-the-airport Five facts about about LAX airport

Alley Einstein

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