Los Angeles Airport
Student Name
Institutional Affiliation
The Organization Background
The Los Angeles International airport is located just 15 miles south-west of the Los
Angeles city and 10 miles to the west of Hollywood. According to the international standards,
the Los Angeles airport is designed to give its customers the best travel experience in terms of
comfort, accessibility, security, and the application of modern technology in most of its
operations. The airport has 9 terminals located centrally within short distances from each other.
However, in case that a traveler wants to transfer from one terminal to another, the airport offers
free transport using the LAX shuttles. There also ground transport channels that transport the
travelers from the city center to the airport. The airport is owned and operated by the Los
Angeles World Airports (LAWA); the city aviation department. This agency plays a critical role
of organizing the air transport to demand passenger and cargo transport within the region of
Southern California. The Los Angeles World Airports is an autonomous agency is managed by a
board of directors consisting of seven board members who are appointed by the city mayor and
forwarded for approval by the Los Angeles City Council.
Additionally, the core mandates of this agency are steered by a workforce of around
35,000 staff members who are the administrative officers, security personnel, and the technical
team that is responsible for maintaining the airport and its entire aviation related system. The Los
Angeles International Airport is served by the most famous airlines in the world. These include
the British Airways, the Saudia flights, the Etihad Airways, the SWISS flights, the Delta flights,
the Lufthansa flights, the Turkish airlines, the China Southern Airlines, the Ethiopian Airlines,
the Qatar Airways, the American Airlines, the Emirates Flights, the Air France, and the KLM
flights. These airlines travel around the world to serve all the major cities including Dubai,
London, Mumbai, Tokyo, Karachi, Guangzhou, Delhi, Beijing, Moscow, Seoul, New York,
Jakarta, and Sao Paulo among others.
Security Screening of Passengers and Cargo
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the agency responsible for the
security screening of passengers and cargo at the Los Angeles International Airport. The agency
has applied modern information technology systems to increase the efficiency of the screening
process for the passengers and their cargo before getting allowed through the airport. The most
notable application of modern technology in that the TSA has implemented to ensure the security
operations at the airport is the use of facial recognition technology to reduce the time taken for
security clearance by automating the process of identification and verification of the boarding
passes for the travelers. Additionally, the system allows for use of biometric recognition system
to screen the passengers who are already ticketed for international flights.
Due to the security risks related to terrorism and transport of weapons, the Transport
Security Administration has installed additional security systems such as the Advanced Imaging
Technology (IAT) for conducting full body scans and sending back a corrective feedback to the
security personnel to alert in case of any unusual threats detected. The functionality of these
scanning systems to ensure that the cargo and passengers do not risk the security of other airport
users is based on the ability of the system to scan the boarding passes and passports to activate
the automated cameras that take photos of the passenger (Price & Forrest, 2016). The luggage is
passed through an infrared scanning system that can identify the presence of weapons, drugs, or
any other illegal substances by recording the variations in the density of the luggage based on
some pre-recorded parameters. This technology makes it possible for the passengers to move
faster through the security checkpoints since the security systems are integrated with the
conveyor belts and the X-ray machines that are programmed to divert any luggage that may have
prohibited items. The TSA is dedicated to the incorporation of enhanced security capabilities in
the security screening at the Los Angeles Airport to ensure the safety of all airport users.
Legal Actions to Ensure Security
The Airport Noise Control Land Use Compatibility is among the issues of great concern
during the establishment of an airport. This is with regard to the need for protecting the
community living around the airport from the noise by aircrafts as well as ensuring that the land
use around the airport is safe for landing and taking off. Therefore, protection of the airspace
from obstruction is also put under serious consideration during the airport planning. The
communities living around the Los Angeles International Airport are also subject to the impacts
of aircraft noise on their well-being. The federal government agency coordinates with the Federal
Aviation Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board to formulate and enact various
legislative laws to protect the residents of Los Angeles city from noise pollution and also to
ensure that the airport is safe for airplanes to land (Stevens et al., 2004). The laws for airspace
protection are concerned with the erection of tall buildings in the areas surrounding the airport to
allow the pilots have a clear view of the landing space.
For instance, The Compatible Land Use title formulated by the United States Code 47107
in the year 1964 requires that all airports should be planned strategically such that appropriate
and reasonable action to safeguard the communities from the noise by the planes should be
subject to the adoption of land zoning laws that regulate the land use in the immediate
surroundings of the airport. This seeks to ensure that the activities and general purposes for
which the land is used are compatible with the routine operation of the airport. Additionally, a
Noise Compatibility Regulation was implemented to ensure that all activities regarding land use
in the vicinity of the airport remain within the jurisdiction of the applicable noise compatibility
measures. The Federal Aviation Laws state that any form of land use in the areas surrounding the
airport that may present any form of hazards limiting the airport utility and navigation resulting
in flight path obstruction should be restricted.
The legal government actions taken to establish the runway use preferences with regard
to the approach and departure from the airport are regulated through the Airspace Protection
Regulation (APR) of 1996 that states the need for ensuring that the land use within the Los
Angeles International Airport. The law states that all approach and departure paths should be
protected with regard to the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) that ensures the efficiency of all
visual flight procedures within the airport (Stewart & Mueller, 2017). Additionally, the Federal
government laws have enacted the laws to ensure the streamlining the Procedures for Air
Navigation Systems Operations whose mandate is to manage and regulate the obstacle limitation
The federal laws regulating the availability of landfills and wetlands within the areas
surrounding airports have also been applied in the Los Angeles Airport to prevent the airspace
obstruction from flocks of birds that may find their habitat within the water bodies. The
community residing around the airport is protected by noise by helping them to install
soundproofing gadgets on their houses and building not too close to the airport. Consequently,
the communities are restricted from any form of land use that may result in smoke or steam
which is hazardous to the flight safety. All of the federal laws regarding the safeguarding of the
airspace and protection of the community residing around the airport are regulated by Federal
Aviation Administration.
The federal government power coordinates with the Civil Aviation authorities such as the
Federal Aviation Administration to enact laws and regulations that seek to ensure the airspace
protection as well as ensuring that the community living around the airport is safe from excessive
noise pollution. Additionally, the Federal government has empowered the agency responsible for
airspace protection with all the necessary resources to ensure that the airport system is
maintained to meet the required safety, efficiency, and the environmental protection standards.
According to the 2008 Noise compatibility program defined under section 47504 of the Aviation
Safety and Noise Abatement Act, the Federal Aviation Administration is legally empowered to
formulate and implement policies that seek to reduce the instances of non-compatible land use
within the vicinity of the Los Angeles International Airport. The forms of land use related to
reducing the impacts of aircraft noise on the communities around the airport are usually
contained in the Noise Exposure Maps (Transportation Security Administration, 2018).
Moreover, legislation framework is formulated and enacted in accordance to the Federal
Aviation Regulations that set the baseline standards for legal action to ensure the protection of
the community living around the Los Angeles International Airport as well as ensuring that the
airspace around the airport is free from obstruction.
The Area Surrounding the Los Angeles International Airport
The following is an illustration of the land use within the vicinity of Los Angeles
International Airport to ensure that the airspace around the airport is protected from obstruction.
This is with regard to any form of land use that may result in tall buildings, smoke, or water
bodies that may cause airspace obstruction.
Drawing from the aerial photograph of the Los Angeles International Airport above, it’s
evident that the Federal Aviation Administration has successfully partnered with other
government agencies to ensure that there no tall buildings within a close range with the airport.
Additionally, the agency has regulated the proximity of the nearest buildings and the nature of
activities taking place within the premises to ensure that it does not contravene the set standards
of airspace security. The aerial photograph also outlines the measures taken to protect the
community from the impacts of noise pollution based on the design of houses in the areas
surrounding the airport. The housing structures have low-lying roofs to ensure that the rate of
sound absorption is significantly reduced.
Airline Incidents Since 2000
Being an international airport, the Los Angeles Airport has not been without periodical
incidents owing to a large number of airlines causing traffic in the daily operations of the airport.
For instance, A jetliner MD-83 owned and operated by the Alaska Airlines requested an
emergency landing at the Los Angeles Airport after experiencing some technical problems on
31st Jan. 2000. However, the jetliner plummeted into the ocean before it could land resulting in
the death of around 88 people. Two years later in July 2002, there was an incidence of airport
shooting by a lone terrorist whose name was Hesham Mohamed Hadayet. This incident that
caused the death of two people was not directly associated with any terror group but was found
that the attack was motivated by political issues between the U.S and Israel. There was an
incidence of runway incursion in August 2007 whereby two planes one belonging to the West Jet
Flight 900 and the other plan belonging to the Northwest airlines operating on adjacent runways.
The planes were moving within a distance of 37 feet from each other carrying a total of 296
passengers. This was reported to be caused by controller error though the incident was mitigated
on time and no passenger was injured. Recently on October 2013, there were two attacks related
to launching of dry ice bombs at the Los Angeles International Airport. In both of these
incidents, no one was injured and two suspects were arrested on suspicion of having destructive
devices in the airport vicinity. This incident was found to have no relation to any acts of
terrorism. In the same year in September, A lone gunman attacked Terminal 3 of the LAX and
shot randomly killing one person and injuring three others. The incident was contained and the
gunman arrested within a short time though it caused delays for around 4 hours. The gunman’s
motive has not been identified.
Curbing the Noise and Safety Issues
The issues relating to the airport safety and noise from the aircraft that is disturbing to the
communities surrounding the Los Angeles Airport have been the most pertinent in the history of
LAX. This is mainly due to the increase in the population of the community living around the
airport. However, the Federal Aviation Administration has taken measures such as directing most
of the landing and take-off flights through the Over-Ocean operations to minimize the instances
of the direct noise disturbance on the communities. Additionally, safety issues have been
addressed by ensuring that the airspace around the airport is free from obstruction from
structures that may pose dangers to landing aircraft or those that are taking off. This is to ensure
that there no chances of flight accidents around the airport that may have destructive effects on
the community.
Sustainability and Forecast of Air Traffic Demand
Being the regional gateway for international flights, the Los Angeles Airport is
committed to maintaining global standards for organizational performance with regard to
customer satisfaction, safety, and air traffic management. To ensure that the level of airport
activity is in accordance with the air traffic forecast depending on the present conditions at the
Los Angeles Airport, the management has implemented sustainable design and construction
policies focused on creating space for the airport to accommodate changes in expansion and air
traffic demand (Compatible Land Use and Airspace Protection, 2009). As a result, the LAX
airport has established the sustainability measures to ensure that it can effectively meet the
prerequisites for safe airport operations. In the current location, there is sufficient room for
expansion and long-term sustainability since the physical and structural requirements are already
fulfilled in the current setting.
Transportation Security Administration. (2018). TSA, Los Angeles World Airports partner to
demonstrate state-of-the-art security technologies at LAX. [online] Available at:
demonstrate-state-art-security [Accessed 7 May 2018].
Compatible Land Use and Airspace Protection. (2009). Retrieved from
Stevens, D., Schell, T., Hamilton, T., Mesic, R., & Brown, M. S. (2004). Near-term options for
improving security at Los Angeles International Airport. RAND CORP ARLINGTON
VA. Stevens, D., Schell, T., Hamilton, T., Mesic, R., & Brown, M. S. (2004). Near-term
options for improving security at Los Angeles International Airport. RAND CORP
Price, J., & Forrest, J. (2016). Practical aviation security: predicting and preventing future
threats. Butterworth-Heinemann.
Stewart, M. G., & Mueller, J. (2017). Are We Safe Enough?: Measuring and Assessing Aviation
Security. Elsevier.

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