Los Angeles International Airport
American Inn - Downey is just minutes from Los Angeles International Airport which is the primary airport serving Los Angeles, California, the second-most populated metropolitan area of the United States. LAX is located in southwestern Los Angeles in the neighborhood of Westchester, 16 mi from the downtown core.In 2010, LAX was the sixth busiest airport in the world, with 58,915,100 passengers. In 2009, LAX was the fifth busiest airport in the world by traffic movement, with 634,383 total aircraft takeoffs and landings. The airport is a major hub for United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Great Lakes Airlines and a focus city for Southwest Airlines, Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, and Virgin America. It also serves as an international gateway for Delta Air Lines. Following United's merger with Continental Airlines, the airport will be the seventh largest hub for United.
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). Although LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the region relies on a multiple airport system because of its sprawling geographic footprint. 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 California like Palos Verdes and Huntington Beach, and LA/Ontario International Airport is closer to the major cities of the Inland Empire, Riverside and San Bernardino.
In 1928, the Los Angeles City Council selected 640 acres in the southern part of Westchester as the site of a new airport for the city. Mines Field was dedicated and opened as the official airport of Los Angeles in 1930, and the city purchased it to be a municipal airfield in 1937. The name was officially changed to Los Angeles Airport in 1941, and to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 1949. Prior to that time, the main airline airports for Los Angeles were Burbank and the Grand Central Airport in Glendale. By 1940 most airlines served Burbank only; starting in 1946 they served LAX.
Before the 1930s, existing airports used a two-letter abbreviation based on the weather stations at the airports. So, at that time, LA served as the designation for Los Angeles International Airport. The letter X does not otherwise have any specific meaning in this identifier. Portland International Airport in Oregon also uses a similar code, PDX. "LAX" is also used for the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and by Amtrak for Union Station in downtown Los Angeles