Update: Paramedics examined, and discharged, 6 people who fell ill on Los Angeles-bound American Airlines flight forced to return London's Heathrow Airport; unclear what caused patients to feel sick; crews investigating plane found no evidence of hazardous substances, authorities say - ABC News
Los Angeles International Airport (IATA: LAX, ICAO: KLAX, FAA LID: LAX) is the largest and busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area and the state of California, and it is one of the most important international airports in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually. LAX is located in the southwestern Los Angeles area along the Pacific Ocean between the neighborhood of Westchester to its immediate north and the city of El Segundo to its immediate south. It is owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, an agency of the Los Angeles city government formerly known as the Department of Airports.
In 2014, LAX handled 70,622,212 passengers, far exceeding a previous record of 67.3 million travelers set in 2000, making it the fifth busiest airport by passenger traffic in the world. The airport holds the claim for "the world's busiest origin and destination (O & D) airport" in 2011, meaning it had the most non-connecting passengers. The airport also was the third busiest in the world by aircraft movements. Furthermore, it is also the only airport to rank among the top five U.S. airports for both passenger and cargo traffic.
While LAX is the busiest airport in the Greater Los Angeles Area, other airports, including Bob Hope Airport, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, and LA/Ontario International Airport, also serve the region. It is also notable for being one of few U.S. airports with four parallel runways.
LAX serves as a hub for United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Virgin America. The airport serves as a focus city for Allegiant Air, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and Volaris. LAX serves as either a hub or focus city for more airlines than any other airport in the United States and is the only airport that all three legacy carriers have designated a hub. As of 2015, the largest carriers were: United (17.73%), Delta (16.43%), American (14.69%), Southwest (11.68%), Alaska Airlines (4.54%), Virgin America (4.32%) and US Airways (3.35%).
As the largest international airport on the U.S. West Coast, LAX is a major gateway to and from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Oceania. With its deep connections to Asia and Latin America in particular, LAX is considered to be the premier "Gateway to the Pacific Rim."