With 67.3 million passengers in 2000, Los Angeles International Airport (IATA airport code: LAX) in Los Angeles, California claims to be the world's third busiest airport.
The airport is located on the Pacific coast, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of downtown Los Angeles and can be reached using the Century Boulelvard exit on Highway 405, or the Sepulveda Boulevard exit on Highway 105.
In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres south of Westchester as the site of a new airport for the city. The fields of wheat, barley and lima beans were converted into dirt landing strips without any buildings. It was named Mines Field for William W. Mines, the real estate agent who arranged the deal.
Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1949.
Until this time, the entire airport was located east of Sepulveda Boulevard. As the airport expanded westward to meet the Pacific Ocean, a tunnel was completed in 1953 so that Sepulveda Boulevard would pass underneath the runways. It was the first tunnel of its kind.
The distinctive white "theme building", constructed in 1961, resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. A rotating restaurant that provides a sweeping view of the city is suspended beneath two intersecting arches that form the legs. The L.A. City Council designated the building a cultural and historical monument in 1992.
On September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182, which was on a Sacramento-Los Angeles International Airport]]-Lindbergh Field, San Diego route, crashed while trying to land at Lindbergh Field, killing everyone on board, 2 on a small aircraft, and 7 on the ground.
On May 25, 1979, American Airlines Flight 191 crashed upon takeoff enroute to Los Angeles from O' Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, killing everyone on board and two people on the ground.
Groundbreaking for the new Tom Bradley International Terminal was conducted in 1982 by Mayor Tom Bradley and World War II aviator General James Doolittle, and the $123 million terminal was opened in 1984. In 1996, a new 277-foot-tall control tower, with overhanging awnings that shade the windows and make the building vaguely resemble a palm tree, was constructed at a cost of $29 million.
Soon afterward, fourteen plexiglas cylinders, each up to ten stories high, were placed in a circle around the intersection of Sepulveda Boulevard and Century Boulevard, with additional cylinders of decreasing height following Century Boulevard eastward. The cylinders, lit from inside, slowly cycle through a rainbow of colors, and provide an additional landmark for visitors arriving by air at night.
On the morning of August 2, 1985, Delta Air Lines Flight 191, on a Fort Lauderdale-Dallas-Los Angeles route, crashed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, killing 136 of the 167 passengers on board.
If Project Bojinka had not been discovered after a fire in Manila, Philippines, one or more aircraft owned by a U.S. carrier/s in this airport would have blown up over the Pacific Ocean on January 21, 1995 as part of the project's first phase.
In the year 2000, Al-Qaeda attempted to bomb of Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium holiday although the bomber was caught at the US-Canadian border. Ahmed Ressam was captured at in Port Angeles, Washington for having explosives in the trunk of his car. The plot was part of the 2000 celebration terrorist attacks plot.
On October 31, 2000, Singapore Airlines Flight 6, which was on a Changi International Airport,Singapore-Chiang Kai Shek International Airport,Taipei- Los Angeles route crashed upon takeoff from Taipei.
On July 4, 2002, a gunman killed 2 Israelis at the ticket counter of El Al Airlines at LAX. Although the gunman was not linked to any terrorist group, the man (an Egyptian) was upset at US support for Israel, and therefore was motivated by political means. This led the FBI to classify this shooting as a terrorist act, one of the few on US soil since September 11, 2001.
Los Angeles International Airport has 10 Terminals and a Heliport for Bravo Aviation - There doesn't seem to be any data on which airline occupies the 8th terminal, which may be under construction.
Tom Bradley International Terminal
American Eagle Commuter Terminal