Los Angeles International Airport set a record in 2014 with an estimated 70.7 million passengers using the facility, according to statistics released Tuesday.
The previous record was 67.3 million passengers, which the airport set in 2000. Last year's figure represented a considerable increased over 2013, when 66.7 million travelers used LAX. Los Angeles also set a record for most overall tourists, according to the city's tourism board.
We can thank major international airlines, as well as American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, for helping this this record. Foreign flag carriers have been rushing to add flights at LAX, while both Delta and American have invested greatly in the airport in the past year.
Of the 70.7 million passengers at LAX, 18.9 million of them were traveling on international flights. That's an increase of 1.1 million over last year.
The airport has been pouring billions of dollars into renovations and new terminals in recent years, with much more to come. These improvements are sorely needed, but I don't think you can credit them for the record-setting year. Los Angeles is the nation's second largest city, with a vibrant economy. Airlines would be adding flights in Los Angeles regardless of terminal conditions. There's money to be made in Los Angeles.
This year should be another strong one for the airport. That's not so great for this blogger, who considers LAX his home airport. Record passenger numbers likely means another year of serious traffic in the airport's central terminal area. It can be a mess at times.
The good news? In a decade or so, LAX will have new ground transportation program, complete with a train to the city and a people move to whisk travelers around the airport. It also expects to build a new concourse behind the current international terminal.
As the airport likes to say, LAX is happening.