LOS ANGELES – The major construction plan at Los Angeles International Airport was announced and outlined far in advance. It was scheduled to take place in six different phases to attempt to make it as convenient as possible. The FAA and Air Traffic Control officials at KLAX even came up with a plan to implement traffic management initiatives when necessary during construction to control volume. Yet somehow, there was no way for airlines or airport officials to avoid seeing major delays while construction was taking place.
The four runways at KLAX were due for an upgrade/rehabilitation, as it is the sixth busiest airport in the world and sees over 615,000 aircraft taking off/arriving per year. (1) While there is no easy task in shutting down runways to repair/rebuild them at an airport as busy as LAX, something had to be done to fix the rundown airstrips putting the lives of pilots and passengers in danger.
|Screenshot via NBAA.org (2)|
Currently, the construction is only in stage two of six which is scheduled to be completed in October. However, there is a very real possibility that the construction could take longer in this phase or any phase due to unforeseen circumstances.
During peak hours at Los Angeles International Airport, time management initiatives are put into place in an attempt to lower the volume of aircraft landing or departing. However, mostly the TMI’s have been directed at arrivals causing these flights to be delayed at their origin. Over this past week and during peak hours during the construction phases, arrival delays have been seen at close to three hours. Also, departures out of LAX have seen delays due to reduced departure rates during the construction phases. During these times, the airport is only using three runways due to the fourth runway being the one currently being upgraded. (2)
While keeping the runways in pristine condition and ultimately upgrading them at major airports such as Los Angeles International is important, one must not forget the cause and effect factor. While many think this construction is only affecting flights to and from LAX, the delays caused spread like a virus at the other major airports that service flights to and from Los Angeles. The FAA, airport officials, and the airlines need to figure out a solution to avoid these constant major delays from occurring.
1. “Airport Information: General Description.” Los Angeles World Airports. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 July 2015. <http://www.lawa.org/welcome_lax.aspx?id=40>.
2. “Major Runway Construction Plans at Los Angeles International Through 2018.” National Business Aviation Association.
Ed. National Business Aviation Association. International Business
Aviation Council Ltd., 16 June 2015. Web. 19 July 2015.