Raise your right hand if you are embarrassed by the condition of Los Angeles International Airport. Raise your left hand if you have asked the question why and who is responsible.
The City of Los Angeles owns LAX and the mayor and city council are responsible.
It is appropriate that a new report outlining the options to upgrade LAX was released last Friday; the same day as the Opening Ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in London. In 1984, when the City of Los Angeles hosted the Summer Olympics, LAX was a jewel. Mayor Tom Bradley, the L.A. City Council and citizens of Los Angeles understood that LAX would be the first impression of our city, state and nation for thousands of athletes, news media and visitors from around the world.
When the excitement of the 1984 Olympics became a memory, so did the commitment to maintaining a world class airport. Vision was replaced with lawsuits, lack of political will and a vast under-appreciation for the growing and essential role that LAX needed to play in generating jobs and tax revenue in a global economy. The result was a stagnant pool of inactivity. Our jewel became tarnished and it sent a signal to the world that Los Angeles no longer cared about its image or the service it provided to visitors, business prospects and its own residents.
The huge construction project underway at the Bradley West Terminal is exciting and offers great hope, but do not be deceived. This much welcomed improvement does not address the configuration of the North Airfield which will determine the long-term attractiveness of LAX for global and domestic carriers. The North Airfield was designed for 1960's era aircraft and is not configured to efficiently and safely handle the new generation of planes that are both bigger and friendlier to the environment.
That is why the Coalition to Fix LAX Now was announced last week as a joint effort between business and Labor to demand long-term planning and political courage as the options for the North Airfield are discussed. We are tired of being embarrassed by LAX because our elected officials keep kicking the can down the road. We want toagain be proud of LAX as the front door to our city, state and nation.
We are also tired of our high unemployment rate. We want to make sure that LAX is positioned in the global economy to attract new jobs and new tax revenue to our region and improve the quality of life for the millions of people who call Southern California home. Join us if you too want a world class airport at LAX. It's time to Fix LAX Now. Join the Coalition today.
And that's The Business Perspective.
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