Rothenberg on LAX: 'It's pathetic'

That's how L.A.'s airport commissioner described the airport's failure to upgrade its facilities since the the Bradley terminal opened in 1984 (that's 23 years ago, friends). Rothenberg was at a meeting today of the Los Angeles Business Council where consulting firm SH&E presented a not-so-cheerful report on what's going on. "This may be tough to swallow, but LAX can no longer sell itself just because it is L.A.," said SH&E Director Sonjia Murray. "Other airports, and we looked at a lot of them, are in a superior position." Basically, it's the same old problem: airlines are shifting to other airports that have more up-to-date facilities. Most other cities have seen substantial increases in passenger traffic since 2000 (see chart below), but LAX has had a 2.8 percent decline. No wonder the Airbus and Lufthansa folks wanted to land the giant A380 at JFK instead of LAX. Actually, SH&E says that the airport's big priority should be getting the big new planes the A380, Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 747-8. But that can only happen if the terminals are expanded to accommodate the heavy passenger loads. Business Journal LABC

International On-Board Passengers at Major U.S. Gateways (% change)

Charlotte +113.1%
Las Vegas +97.4%
Phoenix +74.9%
Denver +48.1%
Philadelphia +39%
Atlanta +32.6%
Houston +29.7%
Washington Dulles +29.1%
Chicago O'Hare +10.7%
Newark +9.7%
Dallas/Ft. Worth +7.7%
JFK 2.1%
San Francisco 2.0%
LAX -2.8%

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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