It's been a couple of days now since the shootings at Terminal Three. Things at LAX are, for the most part, getting back to normal. A few media satellite trucks still remain, but at least on the outside, it's business as usual. Friday was an absolute mess. Hundreds of flights were cancelled, and pretty much all the rest were delayed -- sometimes for many hours. Despite the nation-wide ground stop that was announced, there were thousands of LAX-bound passengers already in the air. Some flights were diverted to other airports, but there were still dozens of airplanes on the ground at LAX with no place to go. Taxiways were closed to make room to park airplanes from around the world. Some of those planes had to wait over four hours before making it to a gate.
In the wake of the shooting, the airport was closed to all street traffic. Both of the adjacent interstate highways became choked with cars that were unable to exit because all the airport exits were closed. Surface streets were also completely jammed. Stranded passengers were allowed to walk out of the airport, but no one was allowed in -- and that included flight crews. A number of the airplanes sitting on gates couldn't leave because their flight crews were not able to get onto the airport. Meanwhile, arriving airplanes were expecting to park at these same occupied gates. There were several instances I personally saw in which more than one airplane was waiting for the same occupied gate. We had all three ground control positions open all afternoon, and all three were talking non-stop, trying to get any airplane with an open gate to their terminal, while juggling many more with no available gate.
About seven hours after the shooting occurred, foot traffic was allowed to enter the terminal area. It was some time after that before vehicle traffic resumed. It will probably take most of the weekend for the airlines to get their planes and crews back to where they're supposed to be.
|Terminals Two (left) and One|
|The 105 |
|Possibly the hardest-hit airline was Virgin America, the primary operator at Terminal Three. I think nearly all of their LAX flights were cancelled. At least four of their aircraft ended up on the Atlantic Aviation ramp.|
|The incoming wave of pedestrian traffic|
|For many passengers, this corner of Century and Sepulveda was as close as they could get. Taxis were dropping their fares here.|