Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX, FAA LID: LAX) is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California, thesecond-most populated metropolitan area of the United States. It is often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters usually pronounced individually. LAX is located in southwestern Los Angeles in the neighborhood of Westchester, 16 mi (26 km) from the downtown core.
With 59,542,151 passengers in 2009, LAX is the seventh busiest airport in the world and is served by direct flights to North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. The airport is a major hub for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines and a focus cityfor American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand and Virgin America. It also serves as an international gateway for Delta Air Lines.
The airport also functions as joint civil-military facility, providing a base for the United States Coast Guard and its Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles facility, operating 4 HH-65 Dolphin helicopters.
LAX is the busiest airport in California in terms of flight operations, passenger traffic and air cargo activity, followed by San Francisco International Airport (SFO). LAX is also the only U.S. airport to serve 3 or more international destinations with ridership of 1 million passengers or more per year (Tokyo-Narita, London-Heathrow, Taipei).
Although LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the region relies on a multiple airport system because of its vast size. Many of the area's most well-known attractions are closer to alternative airports than to LAX; for example, Hollywood and Griffith Park are closer to Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, while Disneyland, the Honda Center, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, and other Orange County attractions are closer to John Wayne Airport in Orange County. Long Beach Airport is closer to some of the coastal attractions known to Southern Californialike Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach, and LA/Ontario International Airport is closer to the major cities of the Inland Empire, Riverside andSan Bernardino.