Airspace around Los Angeles

The airspace around Los Angeles area is one of busiest in the world. In 2012, Los Angeles International (LAX) alone recorded almost 700,000 aircraft movements, which makes it the world’s third busiest airport behind Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare. Within a radius of approx. 30 nm, there are three Class C airports (Burbank, Santa Ana and Ontario) as well as several other airports, which include Van Nuys, Santa Monica and Northrop Hawthorne, to name just a few. They all attract a lot of jet traffic. Van Nuys, for example, recorded an average of almost 1400 aircraft movements per day. (Source:

One might assume that general aviation traffic is not welcome in such busy airspace. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, air traffic controllers treat general aviation just as professionally as major airline traffic. Though they naturally have their hands full, they do their best to respond to all VFR flight following requests. Aviators and air traffic controllers alike have found that this increases everyone’s safety and is in no way disruptive to regular airline traffic. Also, there are no less than five VFR routes through the LAX Class B airspace. Of them, the Mini Route is probably the most spectacular because at 2500 ft it goes directly above the numbers of both LAX runways. Each of these routes requires strict compliance with all stated airspace regulations. That’s why, prior to flying in this airspace, it is a good idea to find out who you have to talk to and when in order to fly safely through this sector of airspace. As long as you comply with the rules and regulations that are described in the Los Angeles Terminal Approach Chart, you are in no way the exception to flying these routes, rather the rule and it becomes a true pleasure using the airspace around Los Angeles.