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DCA350
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Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 5:32 am

Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?
 
Ishrion
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 5:50 am

DCA350 wrote:
I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


LGB is slot restricted. JetBlue wanted to launch international flights out of LGB, but the city council rejected the plans to create a customs facility at LGB. JetBlue ended up leaving LGB last year and shifted its LA focus city to LAX. Southwest took over most of JetBlue's slots and added new routes to DAL/HNL/OGG and more.

As for other airports near LAX:

- SNA is slot restricted and its short runway can limit some routes.
- BUR is proposing a new terminal, which could lead growth. Currently they're receiving new flights with Avelo.
- ONT a few years ago landed flights on China Airlines to Taipei and they'll soon have flights on Avianca to San Salvador, so they're seeing some international expansion.
- SBD was supposed to have flights on Volaris to Mexico, but nothing actually happened?

LAX on the other hand has the infrastructure and isn't restricted compared to other airports in the area. LAX is starting to become gate restricted, but they're expanding with renovations and the new Midfield Concourse.
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Noshow
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 6:18 am

The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.
 
continental004
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 6:28 am

I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.
 
PSA727
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 7:30 am

continental004 wrote:
I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.


My home airport is SAN. I use LAX more than I do SAN. Mainly because my travel is mostly longhaul intl, and such airfares tend to be hundreds of dollars less to/from LAX than SAN, in many cases. I take the train up to Union Station, and then the FlyAway bus to LAX. Not exactlly time saving. However, that is made up somewhat by the numerous flight options throughout the day into/out of LAX, giving me more flexibilty.

As for the OP's original point about LAX versus other regions and their airports...

The NYC area (tri-state) has millions of more people in a much smaller land area than the Los Angeles cachement. LGA, JFK, and EWR all have some form of slot restrictions. While LGA has additional flight perimeter rules, as well as curfews. So, each of those airports can only be so big operationally. LAX has no such type of restrictions. And ONT is the only other LA area aiprort without such limitations, so-to-speak. However, it is the furthest away from the greater concentration of population, as opposed to BUR/SNA/LGB (and which do have operational limitations).
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:05 am

PSA727 wrote:
continental004 wrote:
I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.


The NYC area (tri-state) has millions of more people in a much smaller land area than the Los Angeles cachement. LGA, JFK, and EWR all have some form of slot restrictions. While LGA has additional flight perimeter rules, as well as curfews. So, each of those airports can only be so big operationally. LAX has no such type of restrictions. And ONT is the only other LA area aiprort without such limitations, so-to-speak. However, it is the furthest away from the greater concentration of population, as opposed to BUR/SNA/LGB (and which do have operational limitations).


This is a pretty solid explanation. I might add that there's no shortage of airports on the periphery of NYC's catchment area with commercial service, which further reduces dependence on EWR/JFK/LGA.

This is by no means a perfect analysis, but I ran the numbers on the distances between potential alternate airports to JFK/LAX, and LAX's alternates are closer by an average of nearly 30 miles (and that's including the not particularly close PSP in the mix). Distances are in miles.

Los Angeles
LAX-ONT: 47
LAX-SNA: 36
LAX-PSP: 110
LAX-LGA: 17
LAX-SBA: 89

Average: 59.8


New York
JFK-BDL: 106
JFK-HVN: 63
JFK-ISP: 37
JFK-ALB: 146
JFK-PHL: 94

Average: 89.2

Probably worth noting that there are quite a few more airports outside of New York that could have been included here (TTN, ACY, SWF), but the point is that there are more options if you live on the periphery of NYC than there are on the edge of metro LA and the smaller airports in Southern California are quite a bit closer to the primary airport than in New York, which certainly factors in when flyers weigh the upsides/downsides as to where they'll begin their journey.
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bigb
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:49 am

When comparing LAX to the NYC3 or DC3, you have to remember that the NYC3 are all slot limited with LGA be both slot and perimeter limited.
 
Gemuser
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 11:02 am

LAX is the major international airport in the area, AFAIK no other airport in the LA Basin has international services [NOTE: I do not consider Canada or Mexico "international" from LA]. This undoubtly funnels a lot of traffic to LAX that can't go to other airports.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 11:10 am

DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.


That distributed traffic model you admire can be seen as a bug as much as a feature. You gain from shorter distances to get to the airport, but you lose a lot of traffic aggregation that promotes upgauging (saving cost per seat), frequency, and an expanded destination set. A few years ago ATL had more non-stop destinations than JFK/LGA/EWR combined.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 1:29 pm

ONT is definitely the best airport for expansion in terms of infrastructure...they have plenty of terminal space (plus room for more) and two very long runways. However, the area around ONT is not as affluent as areas around BUR and SNA, and it's pretty far from downtown LA and Orange County, especially with traffic. As others have said, SNA and BUR are both fairly constrained (if the ONT airport was physically located in Orange County and was not slot controlled, it would probably far surpass the current SNA airport in terms of pax and flights...you might even see one of the majors have their hub there rather than LAX).

As for the idea of putting an airport in the high desert...it's been tried (even Arnold fell for it and bought a bunch of land up there thinking that a new supersonic hub would be located that way), but PMD couldn't even make SFO work on a CRJ, so short of a very high speed train to LA (think the PVG maglev), I can't see it any time soon...
 
Osubuckeyes
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 1:30 pm

From a pax perspective nonstop flights are vastly preferred. I think most would choose to sit in traffic to lax for a nonstop journey versus making a connection especially as the trip time gets longer.

Same principle applies to other west coast airports when considering long haul and two stop itineraries to Asia. In most cases our family buys phx-lax then a correct nonstop flight to reach out destination rather than a two stop or inconvenient 1 stop out of PHX. The O&D in proximity to LAX really is the basis for a huge variety of options as well.

As other have stated infrastructure matters as well.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 1:34 pm

DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


One random piece with regards to LAX, and I am speaking generally here, but a lot of the business traffic from east of the Mississippi is near LAX.

LAX is close to Century City, Beverly Hills, & Downtown LA where most of the east coast Banking, Real-Estate, Law, e.t.c. have their offices, also all the major aerospace companies including Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop, Space X, e.t.c have large LA offices right next to the airport in El Segundo.

Again speaking generally, I'd say more of the business traffic from west of the Mississippi is more spread out across the LA area, so even ignoring other dynamics at play, I'd say LAX would still receive a lions share of the TransCon & TransOceanic traffic.

With regards to FLL & MIA, FLL & MIA are very close to each other, but you could make a good argument that they are completely different markets.
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vhtje
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:15 pm

Um... surely Government policy has something to do with this? Even in the US, airports are not entirely free-market driven, after all, despite what some posters on airliners.net would have you believe.
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many321
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:15 pm

My home airport is ONT, though to be frank I've never flown from there since there are no flights offered to the destinations I'm looking for. However, once ONT cut itself from LAX, they've tried to bring in more destinations some successful while other failing either due to schedule, fare pricing, or in the case of AM's ONT-MEX lack of advertising.

A few years back ONT began the push to bring more international flights. They were able to grab CI to have flights from ONT-TPE due to having a good part of the Asian community nearby (Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, City of Industry, Hacienda Heights, Puente Hills, El Monte, Arcadia). At first, they were having problems filling up the flights due to lack of advertising and scheduling since it would leave in the mid-afternoon and those wanting to connect to greater Asia couldn't since it meant they needed to stay overnight in TPE. After three months, they began to advertise the flights on billboards, on the malls, even on shows on the local Asian channels, also switched aircraft (77w to A350) and departure time from ONT for those connecting in TPE to make the wait less than 2 1/2 hrs (Midnight - Same time as their flight CI 7 flight from LAX), and that was the trick, they were that successful. ONT began plans on expanding T2 terminal (the terminal that CI flies from to add three widebody gates and a Federal inspection station since the one that's up at the moment, is away from the two new terminals however Covid hit, and froze their flights and the plans for expansion. Next month they're restarting their flights to TPE. Wish them the best.

So, at the end of the day in the case of ONT, it comes convenience, willingness to pay a little bit more, advertising, and demographics surrounding the area. The next big test for ONT will be if its able to attract any Central American customers to take their flights from ONT-SAL with Avianca especially with DL, UA, Q6, and even AV having flights from LAX.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:26 pm

Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.

Seems funny to read this just as LAX is going through major terminal, parking and public transit upgrades. $Billions are being invested, it'd take $billions more to build such a train and then replicate everything you now have being built at LAX. Seems unlikely at best.
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jfk777
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:41 pm

Revelation wrote:
Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.

Seems funny to read this just as LAX is going through major terminal, parking and public transit upgrades. $Billions are being invested, it'd take $billions more to build such a train and then replicate everything you now have being built at LAX. Seems unlikely at best.


Billions are being spent on LAX but the south side fro Terminals 4-7 still looks the same. Everything at LAX except the Tom Bradley, since it essentially new, should be torn down and built new. LAX has had expansion upon expansion to its buildings since the 1960's.
 
hl8208
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:45 pm

jfk777 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.

Seems funny to read this just as LAX is going through major terminal, parking and public transit upgrades. $Billions are being invested, it'd take $billions more to build such a train and then replicate everything you now have being built at LAX. Seems unlikely at best.


Billions are being spent on LAX but the south side fro Terminals 4-7 still looks the same. Everything at LAX except the Tom Bradley, since it essentially new, should be torn down and built new. LAX has had expansion upon expansion to its buildings since the 1960's.


To be fair, T4 will be mostly torn down and rebuilt (see image here: https://www.lawa.org/lawa-our-lax/environmental-documents/current-projects/terminal-4-modernization-project).
 
flyfresno
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 2:47 pm

jfk777 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.

Seems funny to read this just as LAX is going through major terminal, parking and public transit upgrades. $Billions are being invested, it'd take $billions more to build such a train and then replicate everything you now have being built at LAX. Seems unlikely at best.


Billions are being spent on LAX but the south side fro Terminals 4-7 still looks the same. Everything at LAX except the Tom Bradley, since it essentially new, should be torn down and built new. LAX has had expansion upon expansion to its buildings since the 1960's.


I would love to see LAX "reinvented" in the style of ATL/DEN, with multiple concourses stretched across the current parking lots and one central terminal, but I also see some major problems with that. 1) There's a ton of O&D at LAX (it's usually the highest O&D airport in the US), so I'm not sure whether one central terminal would be sufficient to handle all the people coming and going, and 2) I think it would be way too difficult (not to mention costly) to simultaneously rip out the current terminals, parking, and tower, and replace them all. It's sort of a moot point now...with the new people mover going in, the current design is here to stay for decades to come. At least DL is completely rebuilding 3!
 
ucdtim17
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 3:09 pm

Odder is SFO’s domination of the Bay Area when the other two airports are similarly central and basically have no restrictions like at BUR/SNA/LGB
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 3:17 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
also all the major aerospace companies including Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop, Space X, e.t.c have large LA offices right next to the airport in El Segundo.


Those companies also have the distinction of being completely irrelevant where LAX is concerned, as they account for almost none of its business. Happenstance is what it is...


Revelation wrote:
Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.

Seems funny to read this just as LAX is going through major terminal, parking and public transit upgrades. $Billions are being invested, it'd take $billions more to build such a train and then replicate everything you now have being built at LAX. Seems unlikely at best.


Yep. We see hairbrained ideas like the aforementioned from time to time. Strangely enough, they never seem to originate from any of us that actually reside here in LA County. It is almost as though we would rather invest in existing infrastructure than find a new, super expensive way to commute an extra 100+ miles to begin/end a trip. Or something... :)

many321 wrote:
A few years back ONT began the push to bring more international flights. They were able to grab CI to have flights from ONT-TPE due to having a good part of the Asian community nearby (Diamond Bar, Chino Hills, City of Industry, Hacienda Heights, Puente Hills, El Monte, Arcadia).


Arcadia & El Monte are pretty hard to stuff into ONT catchment. Even Diamond Bar is a stretch once the fares difference and convenience deformities vs LAX are factored in.

many321 wrote:
At first, they were having problems filling up the flights


But then that largely continued. CI continuing the bulk of their LAX flights during the pandemic —yes, including the F only runs— & BR showing zero interest in ONT paint a pretty clear picture of the future.

ONT will continue to function as a domestic PAX & F center, with the focus being on F ops. It is good for that. It offers as close to zero value as it is possible to do for Intl PAX ops for a location that is —very somewhat— LA adjacent.

jfk777 wrote:
Everything at LAX except the Tom Bradley, since it essentially new, should be torn down and built new.


If only someone would convince DL to completely destroy and rebuild Terms 2 & 3.

And maybe talk WN into building a new terminal.

And finagle UA into building something like, I do not know, a Term 9 perhaps?

Or at least cajole the city into building something like a... mid... field Terminal. Or something.

Oh well. We can dream, I suppose.


ucdtim17 wrote:
Odder is SFO’s domination of the Bay Area when the other two airports are similarly central and basically have no restrictions like at BUR/SNA/LGB


I personally suspect UA having a massive hub at that location has a good deal to do with that. However, in fairness, SJC has been (re)growing its Intl footprint lately. . .
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Brickell305
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 3:34 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


One random piece with regards to LAX, and I am speaking generally here, but a lot of the business traffic from east of the Mississippi is near LAX.

LAX is close to Century City, Beverly Hills, & Downtown LA where most of the east coast Banking, Real-Estate, Law, e.t.c. have their offices, also all the major aerospace companies including Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop, Space X, e.t.c have large LA offices right next to the airport in El Segundo.

Again speaking generally, I'd say more of the business traffic from west of the Mississippi is more spread out across the LA area, so even ignoring other dynamics at play, I'd say LAX would still receive a lions share of the TransCon & TransOceanic traffic.

With regards to FLL & MIA, FLL & MIA are very close to each other, but you could make a good argument that they are completely different markets.

I think the difference with MIA/FLL and the LA situation has a lot more to do with FLL being a good substitute for MIA as opposed to it being a separate market. FLL has no slot restrictions, no noise restrictions, no perimeter rule, is fairly close to Miami and by being just off I-95 makes Dade county readily accessible for those willing to face a bit more traffic in return for lower fares. That allowed LCCs to flood FLL and make the airport into what it is now. No alternative airport in the LA checks that many boxes. So no, it’s not because FLL and MIA are different markets, it’s because they are indeed fairly interchangeable that makes FLL such a draw.
 
jimatkins
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 3:42 pm

Noshow wrote:
The logical location for some big 24/7 LA airport would be the high desert away from the coast. Like Palmdale, Victorville or similar. Cheap space, no noise concerns and good weather. This would be where some hyper fast train would make sense. Sell LAX land and move inland.


You do realize that this exact plan was proposed in the 1960s. LA World Airports still owns a ton of acreage to the east of KPMD. It was supposed to be the ultra-super-mega SST jetport for the LA area. Now, I'm not sure Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, NASA and the Air Force would be too happy with their stealth bomber factory/skunkworks/Armstrong Flight Research base gets overrun by travelers.
 
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 3:48 pm

vhtje wrote:
Um... surely Government policy has something to do with this? Even in the US, airports are not entirely free-market driven, after all, despite what some posters on airliners.net would have you believe.


Which government policies exactly?
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 4:09 pm

Los Angeles International Airport makes sense for people heading to Los Angeles. Plus the city of LA is where most of the business traffic goes which is a pretty diverse economy, plus millionaires and billionaires living in Malibu contribute to the high yield of LAX and live too far from SNA and don't have their own planes in Van Nuys. And LAX is still an alternative to SNA for people getting to Disney especially since Disney has his service from LAX.
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UPlog
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 4:44 pm

Lets not forget airports like BUR, SNA and LGB were always meant to be community airports and serve their own local niches not grand visions as global gateway.

LAX on other hand was built to be the regions primary air hub and including the massive terminal and runway development in the 1950s to usher in the jetage.

And ultimately, LAX is well situated for much of the LA City business areas and upper-income areas which certainly makes it convenient for a huge portion of travelers.
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MKIAZ
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 4:55 pm

It's a combination of factors. Historically LA travel was much more centred around the actual LA basin, so LAX was a pretty good choice as it's fairly centrally located. The other options were all flawed.

The main issue is that the airports that actually had good locations and good catchment areas didn't have the space BUR (and runway length for SNA) to make them viable for international flights. SNA struggles with transcons too although the A220 should help that somewhat.

The airports that had the space (LGB and ONT) had poor catchment areas. LGB also had other issues with noise and didn't have terminals. Essentially for the vast majority of the passengers using LAX (weighted for $$$ spend including premium travel), it was a more convenient option that LGB or ONT.

Look at a heat map of LA real estate prices and suddenly it will start to make sense. The only outlier is orange county and they have two choices. Fly out of SNA if there's a nonstop or a relatively painless connection, or drive up to LAX.
 
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 5:48 pm

While Burbank and now non-existant Grand Central Airport were the primary LA area airports prior to WWII, LAX was developed in the 1950s to be the regions jetage gateway.

Airports like BUR, LGB, SNA are local municipal fields which which serve as community airports not large gateways by any means. Orange County looked at idea of using former military field in El Toro as a larger commercial airport, but voters rejected the idea. ONT like the others is also largely community airport, though its located well to serve the Inland Empires industrial and warehouse sector so does well with air freight.

As others mentioned LAX is pretty well situated with easy access to most business areas and huge segments of the population including top visited basin tourist attractions

And yes in 1960s they came up with idea of "Superport" up in Mohave desert that would supplement LAX and be home to SSTs, but that idea died variety of reasons including death of U.S SST program and fact that Palmdale is in the middle of nowhere hardly convenient for LA basin.
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Aliqiout
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 5:54 pm

Osubuckeyes wrote:
From a pax perspective nonstop flights are vastly preferred. I think most would choose to sit in traffic to lax for a nonstop journey versus making a connection especially as the trip time gets longer.

Same principle applies to other west coast airports when considering long haul and two stop itineraries to Asia. In most cases our family buys phx-lax then a correct nonstop flight to reach out destination rather than a two stop or inconvenient 1 stop out of PHX. The O&D in proximity to LAX really is the basis for a huge variety of options as well.

As other have stated infrastructure matters as well.


Of course non stops are preferred, but the extra time needed to get to LAX and the buffer required to protect against unpredictable traffic needs to be factored in too. Everyone will come up with a different answer to how much they will put up with to avoid a connection. I would rather spend time walking around a connection airport than sitting in traffic, so my answer is not much.
 
continental004
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 6:03 pm

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
Arcadia & El Monte are pretty hard to stuff into ONT catchment. Even Diamond Bar is a stretch once the fares difference and convenience deformities vs LAX are factored in. .


Diamond Bar is only a 20-minute drive to ONT. Anywhere in LA County east of the 605 is arguably more conveniently located to ONT than LAX.
 
toga998
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 6:13 pm

ONT is a great airport for the IE and SB county, but the reality is that the lack of public and rapid transport to/from LA and the surrounding area will be the airport's demise until vastly available. UPS and FedEX has their SoCal hubs based out of ONT so the footprint for a mass expansion is there, but the second-mile transportation factor needs to be available to capture the LAX, SNA and BUR traffic.
 
dstblj52
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 6:14 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


One random piece with regards to LAX, and I am speaking generally here, but a lot of the business traffic from east of the Mississippi is near LAX.

LAX is close to Century City, Beverly Hills, & Downtown LA where most of the east coast Banking, Real-Estate, Law, e.t.c. have their offices, also all the major aerospace companies including Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop, Space X, e.t.c have large LA offices right next to the airport in El Segundo.

Again speaking generally, I'd say more of the business traffic from west of the Mississippi is more spread out across the LA area, so even ignoring other dynamics at play, I'd say LAX would still receive a lions share of the TransCon & TransOceanic traffic.

With regards to FLL & MIA, FLL & MIA are very close to each other, but you could make a good argument that they are completely different markets.

I think the difference with MIA/FLL and the LA situation has a lot more to do with FLL being a good substitute for MIA as opposed to it being a separate market. FLL has no slot restrictions, no noise restrictions, no perimeter rule, is fairly close to Miami and by being just off I-95 makes Dade county readily accessible for those willing to face a bit more traffic in return for lower fares. That allowed LCCs to flood FLL and make the airport into what it is now. No alternative airport in the LA checks that many boxes. So no, it’s not because FLL and MIA are different markets, it’s because they are indeed fairly interchangeable that makes FLL such a draw.

Fll is also much much cheaper to operate out of granted thats mostly due to mia being crazy expensive to operate out of
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 7:06 pm

Gemuser wrote:
LAX is the major international airport in the area, AFAIK no other airport in the LA Basin has international services [NOTE: I do not consider Canada or Mexico "international" from LA]. This undoubtly funnels a lot of traffic to LAX that can't go to other airports.


Ontario has service to Taipei, as well as some closer international like San Salvador. It might not be much, but the possibilities are there. Any airline that wants to offer flights out of the Los Angeles area to anywhere in the world has the choice between LAX and Ontario, now we only need to figure out the reason why they choose LAX.

toga998 wrote:
ONT is a great airport for the IE and SB county, but the reality is that the lack of public and rapid transport to/from LA and the surrounding area will be the airport's demise until vastly available. UPS and FedEX has their SoCal hubs based out of ONT so the footprint for a mass expansion is there, but the second-mile transportation factor needs to be available to capture the LAX, SNA and BUR traffic.


And then realize that it doesn't have to be inconvenient at all. I mean, there's a railway line passing straight in front of the terminal in Ontario that leads to Union Station. All they have to do is put up a station and set up a train connection and suddenly Ontario would be even more convenient for getting to downtown Los Angeles than LAX.

Of course there is East Ontario Metrolink station on the railway line that passes along the other side of Ontario airport, but it requires a shuttle bus to get to the station. Not exactly convenient, but then the same goes for LAX where you have to take a shuttle bus to get to Aviation/LAX metro station. They're building the extension line into the airport, but it's too little too late.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 7:19 pm

continental004 wrote:
I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.


From a European perspective, it doesn't make sense that the fares would be higher out of Ontario. I mean, in Europe secondary airports are usually cheaper to fly out of due to their large ULCC presence. The major airports don't have room for those ULCCs and are usually glad to get rid of them, the secondary airports happily take them up. ULCCs are able to negotiate secondary airports into giving discounts that primary airports would never give. That's because primary airports got plenty of airlines serving them, they don't need you as an airline. But the secondary airports do need you, they don't have much of a choice. Certainly airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair are known to make use of that.

Take a look at London, where Heathrow is the largest and most convenient but also by far the most expensive airport to fly out of. Fares at Heathrow are high because it's so convenient. Meanwhile the fares at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton are a lot lower, that's where the ULCCs are. Heathrow doesn't want those ULCCs, they don't pay enough and they can use their scarce capacity better for legacy airlines which pay better. Luton and Stansted on the other hand are in a whole other position, they take any airline they can get and if they have to give them a discount to take them in then so be it.

Why can't Ontario be to Los Angeles what Gatwick or Stansted is to London? LAX can free up space by pushing away the ULCCs, that space can then be used for the expansion of legacy airlines who pay better. And the ULCCs can set up shop in Ontario. That's how it works in London, why would Los Angeles be any different?
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 7:29 pm

1. The Californians SNL skit is what this reminds me of

2. LAX has low airfares because it is a large capacity, competitive airport where no airline or alliance dominates. Many networks serve it, at large enough capacity to have economies of scale individually. ONT either could become a one airline monopoly with good economies of scale (similar to old JetBlue at LGB), or if it is competitive, no airline can get the CASM low enough to offer many services from there. Either way, it is impossible for ONT to match LAX’s combination of destinations and competitive, low fares.

The key difference seems to be that LAX has adequate capacity to serve the areas demands, while LHR is clearly much more constrained. And US customers simply aren’t as wild about ULCCs because (another difference) US network carriers are domestic networks first and international networks second, unlike BA or Air France.
 
stlgph
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 8:04 pm

How many casual travelers from Randomville, USA, are even aware there's an alternative to LAX?
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
9252fly
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 8:26 pm

PSA727 wrote:
continental004 wrote:
I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.


My home airport is SAN. I use LAX more than I do SAN. Mainly because my travel is mostly longhaul intl, and such airfares tend to be hundreds of dollars less to/from LAX than SAN, in many cases. I take the train up to Union Station, and then the FlyAway bus to LAX. Not exactlly time saving. However, that is made up somewhat by the numerous flight options throughout the day into/out of LAX, giving me more flexibilty.


How long does it typically take to get to the LAX airport from the time you start your journey at the SAN train station? Also, would the reverse be about the same duration? I would imagine the train portion of the journey is quite scenic and relaxing.
Last edited by 9252fly on Sat May 08, 2021 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
dstblj52
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 8:29 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
continental004 wrote:
I live in Southern California, closer to ONT than LAX.

My family and I fly out of ONT whenever possible, but the reality is that airfares are almost always significantly higher and destination choices limited.

LAX is easily reachable by public transit with the FlyAway bus which helps avoid the high parking fees there.


From a European perspective, it doesn't make sense that the fares would be higher out of Ontario. I mean, in Europe secondary airports are usually cheaper to fly out of due to their large ULCC presence. The major airports don't have room for those ULCCs and are usually glad to get rid of them, the secondary airports happily take them up. ULCCs are able to negotiate secondary airports into giving discounts that primary airports would never give. That's because primary airports got plenty of airlines serving them, they don't need you as an airline. But the secondary airports do need you, they don't have much of a choice. Certainly airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair are known to make use of that.

Take a look at London, where Heathrow is the largest and most convenient but also by far the most expensive airport to fly out of. Fares at Heathrow are high because it's so convenient. Meanwhile the fares at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton are a lot lower, that's where the ULCCs are. Heathrow doesn't want those ULCCs, they don't pay enough and they can use their scarce capacity better for legacy airlines which pay better. Luton and Stansted on the other hand are in a whole other position, they take any airline they can get and if they have to give them a discount to take them in then so be it.

Why can't Ontario be to Los Angeles what Gatwick or Stansted is to London? LAX can free up space by pushing away the ULCCs, that space can then be used for the expansion of legacy airlines who pay better. And the ULCCs can set up shop in Ontario. That's how it works in London, why would Los Angeles be any different?

A huge factor is that airport charges in the US are the same for every airline at a airport and PFC's exist which creates the inverse incentives
 
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UPlog
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:05 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
Why can't Ontario be to Los Angeles what Gatwick or Stansted is to London? LAX can free up space by pushing away the ULCCs, that space can then be used for the expansion of legacy airlines who pay better. And the ULCCs can set up shop in Ontario. That's how it works in London, why would Los Angeles be any different?


Because unlike LHR which has extremely limited entry opportunities, LAX is wide-open for anyone to show up and operate. There are no slot issues, gates can be had, and further expansion is taking place.

The money leads to LAX, so airlines opt for it. LA does not need a second choice fallback airports as London has since the primary airport is still very much viable option for anyone that wants to serve - Just look at how JetBlue moved its LGB hub up the road to LAX.
I fly your boxes
 
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mercure1
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:21 pm

My perception of LAX is that its centrally located, while other airports are more on the periphery of Los Angeles area which gives them limited appeal for anyone except those very nearby.

Anyhow, why must be the traffic splintered among many airports? I actually think the LA model is quite good compared to NYC for example. With the bulk of traffic at a single efficient airport, the huge number of options and competition make it great for consumers.
mercure f-wtcc
 
hpff
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:29 pm

DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


Keep in mind all the major commercial reliever airports (BUR, SNA, LGB, ONT) technically pre-dated LAX - through the 1930s Mines Field (LAX before LAX) had no commercial passenger service, and airlines moved after WWII due to Los Angeles politics. It appears Long Beach already had the extended runways in place to be the major commercial airport but basically lost the political battle, especially given the money spent on Mines.

As a result of the politics and the fact it was last-built, LAX has the best catchment area and infrastructure of any of the airports in LA. Long Beach would probably compete better if it hadn't become so legally restricted and had more political clout in the 40s/50s, and Ontario would probably compete better if it had a better catchment area (though it's great for cargo.) Burbank and SNA have runway and general space limitations too.

In NYC, JFK, LGA, and EWR all have specific catchment areas, while DC has a convenient older airport which couldn't be expanded for international jet service, so IAD was built (which now has its own catchment area for that part of Virginia/Maryland.)
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:32 pm

9252fly wrote:

How long does it typically take to get to the LAX airport from the time you start your journey at the SAN train station? Also, would the reverse be about the same duration? I would imagine the train portion of the journey is quite scenic and relaxing.


No SAN train station - bus from downtown train station (old Santa Fe). Seven Amtrak trains daily, about three hours to LA Union Station, then another hour for the Flyaway bus. The train ride is very nice from about San Clemente to Encinitas. So, if you are doing an open jaw trip, it is a nice way to see some coastal scenery, and Union Station is worth a few minutes’ look iMHO. Go to Philippes for a french dip sandwich.

Not recommended for business travelers in a hurry,though.
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 9:43 pm

DCA350 wrote:
...
I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


Locals prefer BUR or SNA if they are closer. But the wealthiest residents live closest to LAX. And both BUR and SNA have limitations.

The other real popular airport is VNY - lots of private jet flights.

The real cultural difference is that, in Manhattan, all but the very richest tend to take the subway. In Los Angeles, all but the very poorest tend to drive. The availability of rail transport is not going to make ONT or Palmdale popular IMHO.
 
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vhtje
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 10:30 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Um... surely Government policy has something to do with this? Even in the US, airports are not entirely free-market driven, after all, despite what some posters on airliners.net would have you believe.


Which government policies exactly?


How the hell should I know? I am not American, nor do I live there. But the fact that Los Angeles World Airports is owned by the City of Los Angeles, tells us that the Government sector is active in airport and traffic policy in the LA area.

Here in the UK, where airports are largely privatised, they are heavily regulated and any expansion or redevelopment is subject to government scrutiny and approval, as well as planning approval. Government has a huge say in how airports can operate. Gatwick, for example, couldn’t, under its own steam, just decide to double in size and overtake Heathrow’s traffic through commercial forces. It would require Government actively making that decision.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 11:30 pm

HowardDGA wrote:
9252fly wrote:

How long does it typically take to get to the LAX airport from the time you start your journey at the SAN train station? Also, would the reverse be about the same duration? I would imagine the train portion of the journey is quite scenic and relaxing.


No SAN train station - bus from downtown train station (old Santa Fe). Seven Amtrak trains daily, about three hours to LA Union Station, then another hour for the Flyaway bus. The train ride is very nice from about San Clemente to Encinitas. So, if you are doing an open jaw trip, it is a nice way to see some coastal scenery, and Union Station is worth a few minutes’ look iMHO. Go to Philippes for a french dip sandwich.

Not recommended for business travelers in a hurry,though.


Amtrak gets panned quite deservedly but the passenger experience between Los Angeles and San Diego is actually quite good, and it’s time competitive for downtown to downtown. Heck, if you buy a Business ticket (which is less than $100 IIRC), they drive you from lounge to train in Los Angeles.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 11:31 pm

vhtje wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Um... surely Government policy has something to do with this? Even in the US, airports are not entirely free-market driven, after all, despite what some posters on airliners.net would have you believe.


Which government policies exactly?


How the hell should I know? I am not American, nor do I live there. But the fact that Los Angeles World Airports is owned by the City of Los Angeles, tells us that the Government sector is active in airport and traffic policy in the LA area.

Here in the UK, where airports are largely privatised, they are heavily regulated and any expansion or redevelopment is subject to government scrutiny and approval, as well as planning approval. Government has a huge say in how airports can operate. Gatwick, for example, couldn’t, under its own steam, just decide to double in size and overtake Heathrow’s traffic through commercial forces. It would require Government actively making that decision.


What “traffic policy?” There are no slots. LAX is gate constrained but there’s space for new entrants. Help me out here.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
N649DL
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sat May 08, 2021 11:33 pm

LGB and LAX are about the same distance from my neighborhood in the South Bay. LAX just has more options and is only around 20 mins away. Yet I always check fares out of LGB and SNA just in case (SNA really isn't all that close to my neighborhood though.) Traffic is also fairly minimal getting up to and from LAX from Redondo Beach which is nice.

mercure1 wrote:
My perception of LAX is that its centrally located, while other airports are more on the periphery of Los Angeles area which gives them limited appeal for anyone except those very nearby.

Anyhow, why must be the traffic splintered among many airports? I actually think the LA model is quite good compared to NYC for example. With the bulk of traffic at a single efficient airport, the huge number of options and competition make it great for consumers.


I mean LAX definitely yields importance & it has to be considering all the work for public transit they're doing for the Olympics connecting it and whatnot. Never had a problem with it, except traffic getting within the terminals. Even so, there are some funny & weird paths to take. One being (5+ years ago) to park your car on-site near Terminal 1 and walk to the terminal you're going to. The left turn cut off which pulls out near T5 people often forget about as well. LAX just has some weird quirks for sure.
 
greg3322
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sun May 09, 2021 12:11 am

I live almost equal distance between LAX and SNA, but live closest to LGB. I would choose LGB when I could, but with jetBlue gone, it will be less likely. I then would choose SNA over LAX, mostly due to being less busy and easier to get in and out of, The prices at SNA were always higher, the destinations limited, and the curfew would limit the available trips. From LAX, you can go almost anywhere, anytime. I haven'y flown out of ONT in years, but it really isn't that much further. I just don't bother.
 
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flyPIT
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sun May 09, 2021 12:39 am

vhtje wrote:
Here in the UK, where airports are largely privatised, they are heavily regulated and any expansion or redevelopment is subject to government scrutiny and approval, as well as planning approval. Government has a huge say in how airports can operate. Gatwick, for example, couldn’t, under its own steam, just decide to double in size and overtake Heathrow’s traffic through commercial forces. It would require Government actively making that decision.


Which begs the question... why privatize airports then, other than to give the gov't a short term windfall from the sale and the new private ownership group a long term cash cow? The airports' generated revenue no longer remains with the airport 100% and is evident by the lack of re-investment. Other than T2/T5 the UK is prime example.
FLYi
 
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flyPIT
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sun May 09, 2021 12:43 am

A few comments were made about the Palmdale jetport idea from the 1960s. Here is a basic rendering from that proposal.

Image
FLYi
 
LAXLHR
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Re: Why is LAX so dominant in the LA Region?

Sun May 09, 2021 1:25 am

DCA350 wrote:
Before I'm lambasted, I'm generally curious. LA is the second largest Metro in the country, but LAX completely dwarfs all the other regional airports combined.. I look at places like NYC which spreads traffic across three airports in a more condensed airspace, same with my home area of DC. Even in South Florida where MIA is the major player, FLL handles a good chunk of the area's demand. LA traffic is a nightmare, yet people seemingly have no problem coming from all over the region to LAX.

I guess my question is why none of the other airports developed into a real viable secondary option.. LGB would seemingly be the perfect FLL/BWI style airport with proper investment. Is it regulations or are people simply satisfied with the status quo?


LAWA (LA World Airports) use to own ONT. Based upon many articles that I have ready, in a similar move played by (LHR's BAA which use to own LGW - London's second busiest airport)... they plowed all the money and prestige into the premiere airport. Here being, LAX.

Overall it made it less desirable in numerous ways for carriers to operate from ONT. ONT was sort of left to rot (thanks to LAWA). The carriers quickly accepted this actually made more economical sense for them to operate primarily and sometimes solely from LAX over ONT.

Now to the average person living in the Inland Empire, with a population of over 5 million people (10% approx of the CA population). ...then add in 4-6 million more East of Downtown LA.. ONT should have a massive operation at least domestically. Surely more than one carrier should be flying to Asia (and this was VERY recent, and not daily). The vast majority of the Asian population in LA is East and South of Downtown. I would not expect European carriers to desire such an airport, but Central America should work for sure.

The answer: LAWA

BUR, LGB and SNA speak for themselves. Infrastructure, slots, curfews etc.
BA IB ET JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO WN NW DL UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR WY MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN LO OK OZ UL SQ LA KL

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