LAX: Police evacuate US Airways cargo facility after possible IED found (False Alarm)

UPDATE: 3:25 p.m. Sgt. Belinda Nettles of airport police says that the item has been cleared. “It was computer parts,” she said. 

Police responded to a report of a possible improvised explosive device at a Los Angeles International Airport cargo facility at about 2:10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Here’s the final statement from Los Angeles World Airports police:

“Airport Police responded to a suspicious item at approximately 2:10 p.m., located at Century Blvd and International Blvd at the U.S Airways cargo facility. The LAPD Bomb Squad cleared the item at 3:30 pm. The suspicious item turned out to be a box containing computer parts. The cargo facility was repopulated.”

Though it’s not in the statement, a high-ranking police source told me that when the call came in, it was for a “possible IED.”

LAPD bomb squad and Los Angeles Fire are also on scene, officials said. The incident happened at a cargo facility used by several airlines, including US Airways, at 10080 International Road.

Note: This post was updated to include a new airport police statement at 5:30 p.m.

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LAX: Four-hour FAA ground stop impacts flights Wednesday morning

Air traffic control slowed flights to Los Angeles International Airport for about four hours Wednesday morning due to fog. We’re not San Francisco, but because the airport is right on the Pacific Ocean, this happens with some regularity.

Before noon on Wednesday, among large carriers, Fedex diverted two flights while Aeromexico diverted one. Among smaller regional airlines, Skywest diverted five flights and Compass diverted one. Skywest flies under the United Express, American Eagle and Delta Connection brands, while Compass flies as Delta Connection.

Ian Gregor, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration based in Los Angeles, was kind enough to answer some simple questions for me about the ground stop via email.

How long was the ground stop? Looks like 5:55 to 9:20 a.m. (Update: Since Ian and I spoke, there was another ground stop between 10:25 and 11:30 a.m. For the latest information, try the FAA’s website.)

Were both arrivals and departures impacted? Some LAX arrivals were temporarily held at departure airports within approximately an hour’s flying time from LAX. A few airborne flights diverted to Ontario.

What changes during poor weather? Is there increased spacing? – Increased
spacing, some airlines have policies that don’t allow crews to land in the
worst fog conditions, some crews are not trained to land in the worst fog
conditions.

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Wall Street Journal: LAX was barely profitable for American Airlines in 2013

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

American wants to add $400 million in revenue by optimizing its schedule. Photo credit: American

The new American Airlines thinks it can squeeze out $400 million in annual revenue with some basic changes to its schedule, Susan Carey of the Wall Street Journal reported this morning in the Wall Street Journal.

For local readers, the most interesting tidbit could be the fact that Los Angeles has not been performing as well as American’s other hubs:

Mr. Kirby said American’s operations at Los Angeles International Airport are improving now that it is the largest carrier there with the highest offering of premium seats. He said Los Angeles was profitable last year but “not by much,” while this year he expects it “to be nicely profitable.” He also said American is focused on winning back business from corporations that switched their travel away from the old American in recent years.

As we’ve reported here in the past, Los Angeles is a fiercely competitive market when it comes to business travel, which provides much of the revenue for major airlines. United has long battled with American for these contracts, and Delta is once again becoming competitive in L.A., having added many routes in the past year or so. American seems to be banking in part on its new A321s, which are serving the New York-L.A. market with many state-of-the-art premium seats. 

In recent weeks, the new American has altered its schedule in New York and Washington, D.C., a step it had to take because of its pre-merger agreement settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. But eventually, I expected it to make some similar tweaks here in Los Angeles, adding some cities and taking away others.

What cities might you expect American to add from L.A. now that it is under new management?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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Video: Delta’s new 1980s-themed safety video featuring Alf and Kareem

Who knew Delta Air Lines had such a sense of humor?

The carrier released a new 1980s themed safety video on Tuesday, featuring such legends as Alf (at the 3:15 mark) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (at 5:05). A can of Tab also makes an appearance, as do mullets, headbands and jean jackets.

I’m not sure how in-depth you all watch Delta’s safety videos. But you might recall that in recent videos, the airline has featured a red-headed flight attendant who waves her index finger to demonstrate that the flight is non-smoking. In the 80s version, a red-headed kid does the same finger wave. It’s pretty cute. The kid appears at around the 2:20 mark. Here she is:

Delta Air Lines kid

And here’s the same woman as seen in the non-80s version of the safety video:

delta air lines adult

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TSA to open precheck enrollment center at LAX Terminal 5

TSA will open a precheck enrollment center this week at LAX. Photo: Associated Press.

TSA will open a precheck enrollment center this week at LAX. Photo: Associated Press.

The Transportation Security Administration will open its first Precheck processing station at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday, Jan. 30.

The application center will be located in Delta’s Terminal 5 in the gate area. TSA has had processing applications at three locations in the L.A. area for a couple of months now, but this is the first time travelers in the airport will have the opportunity to go through the process. Passengers on United, Delta and Alaska will be able to access the Terminal 5 application center. American Airlines passengers will not have access — at least until the airport reopens a tunnel connecting its terminal with Delta’s.

For those not familiar, TSA’s precheck program allows passengers to register for more humane airport security screening — so long as they pass a background check, provide fingerprints and pay $85 to join the program. Assuming you pass, you can keep your shoes on and keep your liquids and laptops in your bags.

Travelers can go through expedited security at just about every major airport in the country, including LAX, Long Beach Airport and Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

If you want to join, you’ll want to go to TSA.gov to fill out the pre-enrollment questionnaire. You can make an appointment for the background check on the website, or you can simply drop in at one of the enrollment centers. Eventually, TSA wants to have more than 300 processing centers.

Here are the other L.A.-are locations:

•             Carson, Calif.: Universal Enrollment Center/IdentoGO Center — 460 East Carson Plaza Drive, Suite 114

•             Glendale, Calif.: Universal Enrollment Center/IdentoGO Center — 603 South Brand Boulevard

•             Signal Hill, Calif.: Universal Enrollment Center/IdentoGO Center — 2501 East 28th Street, Suite 105

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