Open main menu

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is the airport oversight and operations department for the city of Los Angeles, California. Its headquarters are on the grounds of Los Angeles International Airport in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westchester.

Los Angeles World Airports
Agency overview
Headquarters1 World Way
Los Angeles, California 90045
33°56′34″N 118°24′09″W / 33.9428°N 118.4026°W / 33.9428; -118.4026Coordinates: 33°56′34″N 118°24′09″W / 33.9428°N 118.4026°W / 33.9428; -118.4026
Parent departmentcity of Los Angeles, California
Parent agencycity of Los Angeles, California



In 1982, LAWA purchased Ontario International Airport, in bordering San Bernardino County.[1]

In April 2013, the City of Ontario, California filed a legal complaint against LAWA alleging mismanagement of Ontario International Airport, ultimately resulting in a 40% decline of traffic between 2007 and 2013. LAWA countered the complaint citing the Great Recession was responsible for the decline in activity.[1] In December 2015, LAWA sold back its shares of Ontario International to the newly-formed Ontario International Airport Authority for a total of US$190 million.[2] It transferred operational management of the airport to the Ontario International Airport Authority on November 1, 2016.[3]

LAWA formerly owned the dormant terminal of Palmdale Regional Airport, though it was transferred to the city of Palmdale at the end of 2013, and the United States Air Force's Plant 42 still owns the airport.[citation needed]

In February 2018, LAWA introduced a new facial recognition system at LAX to automate ID and boarding pass verification of passengers in boarding areas.[4][5]


As of October 2015, Los Angeles World Airports owns and operates two airports:[6]

LAWA operates the FlyAway bus service, which runs five shuttle routes between LAX and the following: Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles; the University of California, Los Angeles in Westwood Village; Hollywood, and Long Beach.


LAWA is a branch of the city of Los Angeles, also known as the Department of Airports, and is governed by a seven-member Airport Commissioner's Board. The board is appointed by the Mayor of Los Angeles and approved by Los Angeles City Council. LAWA employs close to 2,500 employees who work for the two airports under its control.[citation needed]

LAWA raises revenue by collecting aircraft landing fees, in addition to property leases and concession fees from airport tenants. Expenditures include runway and building maintenance fees, capital improvements and administration.[citation needed]

Law enforcementEdit

LAWA maintains its own police department, the Los Angeles Airport Police sometimes referred to as "LAWAPD" or "LAXPD".[7] LAWAPD is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County, with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel. LAWAPD has patrolled jointly with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) since the opening of the current terminal area in 1961. In 2002 then-mayor James Hahn assigned additional LAPD officers to LAX to provide armed law enforcement officer coverage at passenger screening stations. Those officers are trained by LAWAPD officers to perform this function. They are assigned on an overtime basis, with LAWA reimbursing LAPD and, in turn, receiving substantial reimbursement from the Transportation Security Administration.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b Eve Bachrach (April 11, 2013). "Ontario is Getting Ready to Sue LA For Airport Neglect". Curbed Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  2. ^ Jeff Wattenhofer (December 17, 2015). "Ontario Has Finally Wrested Control of Its Airport From LA". Curbed Los Angeles. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  3. ^ Dan Weikel (November 1, 2016). "Ontario officials get ownership of international airport and pledge more flights and services". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 9, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017. After years of litigation and negotiation, Ontario officials assumed ownership of LA/Ontario International Airport from Los Angeles on Tuesday. [1 November 2016]
  4. ^ "Los Angeles Airport progresses biometric boarding trial". March 22, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Chris Galford (February 21, 2016). "TSA, Los Angeles World Airports unveil new security checkpoint technologies". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "About Los Angeles World Airports". Los Angeles World Airports. October 2015. Archived from the original on May 30, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "About LAXPD". Los Angeles Airport Police. 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  8. ^ "Los Angeles World Airports receives Sustainability Award". World Interior Design Network. July 9, 2010. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2017. The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has received the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainability Award, after $737 million renovation of its TBIT terminal.
  9. ^

See alsoEdit