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LAX: Not Exactly In and Out Yet, But Getting There

Last updated on September 10, 2022

Photo by Soly Moses on Pexels

If you’ve flown from or into Los Angeles recently, you know LAX has been a mess. All chaotic and crowded, with lots of construction going on. So what’s going on? The short answer is, that the whole airport is being redone. As the airport is completely transformed, it’s interesting to take a look at its history.

LAX was formally opened in 1929, but it was mostly used by private pilots and flying schools. Before it could be converted into an airport mainly for passengers, World War II began, and the airport was used by the military. During this time, the plan for the civilian airport was finished, and work was approved in 1943. In 1946, 4 temporary terminals opened for passenger airlines. After 15 years, it was clear that the temporary terminals were in need of renovation, and new plans were drawn up in 1956.

By 1958, the new plans were approved and the ‘U’ layout that we know today was implemented, before the airport was expanded yet again in the 1980s, to prepare for the 1984 Olympics. These were the last set of major renovations for a long time, all the way until 2008.

In 2009, a project to completely refurbish all the terminals began. All the terminals are going to be rebuilt, beginning with the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Additionally, a light rail “People Mover” is being built, to transport passengers between the terminals and parking, car rentals, and transit facilities. The LA Metro is also being expanded, and there will be a station from which passengers can ride the  “People Mover” into the airport. This is an effort to get more people to use public transport when using LAX, as traffic congestion has been a frustration for airport users for quite some time.

For one of the most famous cities in the world, LA’s airport is lackluster and messy. It has yet to master the speed and efficiency of In-N-Out – a beloved LA landmark. The project is scheduled to finish in 2025, just in time for the 2028 Olympics where the world will see an airport worthy of the City of Angels. 

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