Soaring Above The City Of Angels: Exploring The Numerous Airports Serving Los Angeles

As a massive global city and a hub for tourism, entertainment, and international business, Los Angeles requires an extensive air transportation network to keep residents and visitors connected regionally, nationally, and worldwide. But with such a vast metro region, how many airports actually serve and operate in the greater LA area?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: There are 5 major airports operating in the Los Angeles metropolitan area: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), John Wayne Airport (SNA), Long Beach Airport (LGB), and Ontario International Airport (ONT).

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a closer look at each of these vital airports fueling the sky-high transportation demands of the City of Angels and its sprawling surrounding communities.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Los Angeles International Airport, commonly known as LAX, is the primary airport serving the city of Los Angeles. It is one of the busiest airports in the world, handling millions of passengers each year.

LAX is located in the Westchester neighborhood, approximately 18 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles.

LAX Overview

With its iconic Theme Building and modern facilities, LAX serves as a gateway to Southern California for both domestic and international travelers. The airport has nine passenger terminals, each offering a wide range of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and lounges.

LAX is known for its efficient and convenient transportation options, including a free shuttle service that connects all terminals and a dedicated airport bus service.

One of the highlights of LAX is its impressive art program, which features permanent and rotating exhibits throughout the airport. Travelers can enjoy a diverse collection of artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and installations, showcasing the vibrant culture of Los Angeles.

Serving LA’s Domestic and International Travel

LAX is a major hub for domestic and international travel, offering flights to destinations around the world. It serves as the primary base for several major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

With its extensive network of routes, passengers can easily connect to both domestic and international flights from LAX.

For international travelers, LAX offers a dedicated international terminal, known as the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). This state-of-the-art facility provides a seamless travel experience, with customs and immigration services, duty-free shopping, and a variety of dining options.

The TBIT is also home to luxurious airline lounges, where passengers can relax and unwind before their flights.

Cargo and Private Aviation at LAX

In addition to passenger travel, LAX is a major hub for cargo and private aviation. The airport features extensive cargo facilities, handling millions of tons of freight each year. LAX serves as a crucial link in the global supply chain, facilitating the movement of goods between the United States and destinations worldwide.

Furthermore, LAX is a popular choice for private aviation, with dedicated terminals and facilities catering to private jets and executive travelers. The airport offers a range of services for private aircraft, including hangar space, fueling, and maintenance services.

Private aviation at LAX provides a convenient and luxurious way for business travelers and high-net-worth individuals to travel to and from Los Angeles.

For more information about Los Angeles International Airport, you can visit their official website

Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR)

Located just north of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) is one of the major airports serving the city. Formerly known as Bob Hope Airport, BUR has a rich history and plays a crucial role in accommodating regional travelers.

BUR History and Operations

BUR has been serving the Los Angeles area since 1930, making it one of the oldest continuously operating airports in California. Initially known as the United Airport and later renamed Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, it became Bob Hope Airport in 2003 to honor the legendary comedian who was a long-time resident of the area.

Today, BUR is a bustling airport that offers flights to various destinations across the United States. It serves as a hub for several major airlines, including Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines.

With its convenient location and efficient operations, BUR provides a convenient option for travelers looking to avoid the congestion of larger airports in the region.

Accommodating Regional Travelers

BUR is a popular choice for regional travelers due to its proximity to many popular destinations in Los Angeles. Located just a short drive from Hollywood, Universal Studios, and downtown Los Angeles, the airport offers easy access to these attractions.

Additionally, its smaller size and efficient security procedures make it a hassle-free option for those flying within the region.

The airport also boasts a wide range of amenities for travelers. From various dining options to duty-free shopping, BUR ensures that passengers have a pleasant experience while waiting for their flights.

Its modern facilities and friendly staff further contribute to its reputation as a traveler-friendly airport.

Fun Facts About the Airport

Did you know that BUR has its own Hollywood connection? The airport has been featured in several movies and TV shows, including the classic film “Casablanca.” The iconic terminal building has a timeless charm that adds to the allure of the airport.

Another interesting fact about BUR is its close proximity to the famous Warner Bros. Studios. In fact, the airport offers a unique view of the studio lot, allowing passengers to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood magic as they take off or land.

If you’re a fan of aviation history, BUR also houses the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation. This beautiful memorial pays tribute to the pioneers of aviation and is definitely worth a visit for aviation enthusiasts.

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

Located in Orange County, California, John Wayne Airport (SNA) is one of the major airports serving the Los Angeles area. Named after the legendary actor John Wayne, this airport is known for its convenient location and efficient operations.

Background of SNA

John Wayne Airport has a rich history dating back to its opening in 1967. Originally named Orange County Airport, it was later renamed to honor the iconic actor John Wayne, who was a resident of Orange County.

Today, SNA is operated by the County of Orange and serves as a vital transportation hub for both domestic and international travelers.

Facility Expansions

Over the years, John Wayne Airport has undergone several expansions and renovations to accommodate the growing number of passengers. The airport features a modern terminal building with state-of-the-art facilities, including spacious waiting areas, a variety of dining options, and convenient parking facilities.

The airport has also implemented sustainable practices to reduce its environmental impact, including the use of solar power and energy-efficient lighting.

Destinations Served from SNA

John Wayne Airport offers a wide range of domestic and international flights to various destinations. Passengers can fly to major cities across the United States, including New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

Additionally, SNA offers direct flights to popular vacation destinations such as Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Vancouver. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, John Wayne Airport provides convenient access to a multitude of destinations.

If you want to explore more about John Wayne Airport (SNA), you can visit their official website for more information.

Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Located in the city of Long Beach, California, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is one of the numerous airports serving the bustling city of Los Angeles. With its rich history and convenient location, LGB has become a popular choice for travelers seeking a less crowded and more accessible airport experience.

LGB’s Beginnings

Long Beach Airport has a long and storied history, dating back to its establishment in 1923. Originally known as Daugherty Field, the airport was primarily used for military purposes during World War II.

After the war, it transitioned into a commercial airport and has since undergone numerous renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing number of passengers.

Changes Over the Decades

Throughout the decades, Long Beach Airport has seen significant changes and developments. In recent years, the airport has undergone modernization efforts to enhance the passenger experience. This includes the construction of a new concourse, updated terminals, and improved amenities.

These changes have helped to create a more efficient and enjoyable travel experience for passengers flying in and out of LGB.

Key Airlines and Routes

Long Beach Airport is served by several major airlines, including JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Air Lines. These airlines offer a range of domestic and international flights, connecting passengers to various destinations across the United States and beyond.

Popular routes from LGB include flights to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City.

For more information about Long Beach Airport, including flight schedules and amenities, you can visit their official website:

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Los Angeles, Long Beach Airport provides a convenient and accessible option for air travel. With its rich history, ongoing improvements, and a variety of airlines and routes, LGB continues to soar above the City of Angels as a popular choice for travelers.

Ontario International Airport (ONT)

Ontario International Airport (ONT) is one of the major airports serving the bustling city of Los Angeles. Located in the city of Ontario, about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, ONT has been an integral part of the region’s aviation infrastructure for decades.

ONT’s Origins and Growth

ONT has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1929. Originally known as the Ontario Municipal Airport, it began as a small facility serving local flights. However, over the years, ONT experienced significant growth and emerged as a major hub for both domestic and international travel.

Today, ONT is a bustling airport that handles millions of passengers each year. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities, including modern terminals, ample parking, and a wide range of amenities to ensure a comfortable and convenient travel experience for passengers.

Cargo Traffic Significance

In addition to its passenger services, ONT plays a crucial role in facilitating cargo traffic in the region. The airport has established itself as a key logistics hub, serving as a gateway for goods moving in and out of Southern California.

ONT’s strategic location and excellent infrastructure make it an ideal choice for cargo carriers. It offers extensive cargo handling facilities, including dedicated cargo terminals, warehouse space, and efficient logistics operations.

As a result, ONT has witnessed a steady increase in cargo traffic over the years, contributing significantly to the local economy.

According to a recent report by the Ontario International Airport Authority, ONT’s cargo traffic reached record levels in 2020, surpassing previous years’ figures. This highlights the airport’s growing importance as a vital link in the global supply chain.

Future ONT Expansion Plans

To meet the growing demand for air travel and cargo transportation, ONT has ambitious expansion plans in the pipeline. These plans include the development of new terminals, runway enhancements, and improved infrastructure to accommodate larger aircraft and increase capacity.

The expansion project aims to position ONT as a premier aviation facility, capable of handling the expected surge in passenger and cargo traffic in the coming years. The airport authority is committed to ensuring that ONT remains at the forefront of innovation and remains a key driver of economic growth in the region.

With its rich history, significant cargo traffic, and exciting expansion plans, Ontario International Airport (ONT) continues to soar as a vital transportation hub in the City of Angels.


Supported by its five capable passenger and cargo airports, Los Angeles maintains extensive air connectivity vital for sustaining travel and economic growth. Though LAX stands tallest as the largest and busiest of the quintet, the remaining four airports each uniquely serve surrounding portions of the vast metropolis in efficient synchrony. For tourists and residents alike, the aviation gateways to Los Angeles continue propelling one of the world’s premier transportation hubs into the future through innovation and expansion.

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