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             08 August, 2022
 

    
Category:  Articles » Travel & Leisure » Aviation

 

Politics and Airport Parking

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         Views: 2175
2006-06-16 19:00:26     
Article by Lee Dobbins

Airport parking can be a real hassle. Finding a place to park where you don’t have to drag your luggage for a mile and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg can be quite a challenge. Today, with the added security measures and the longer time it takes to pass through them, searching for a parking spot can take valuable time.

The whole scope of airport parking was changed forever on September 11, 2001. Now there are security issues to be considered as well as traffic and parking issues for any airport. But if you think that airport parking is just a pain for airline passengers, you’re wrong - it affects airport personnel, people living near airports and even politicians. Here’s an example of how airport parking and politics and interrelate.

In early 2001 James Hahn was running for Mayor of Los Angeles. He decided to make airport parking one of his campaign issues. He proposed an elaborate scheme for improving the parking at LAX. His plan would have called for major changes in the Westchester neighborhood around the airport.

James Hahn won that election. In August he initiated a campaign to put a new biomedical research facility adjacent to the USC medical facility. He also began work on his plan to improve airport parking. Neither of Hahn’s plans came to fruition. The block to the biomedical facility would take to long to explain in this short piece. The block to parking was very simple; it made its appearance on September 11, 2001.

Hahn had planned airport parking for an airport where security concerns would not be a first priority. He had not provided for the extensive check in process that passengers would be required to use. As a result, Hahn’s plan had quickly become outdated. The Los Angeles Airport needed a very different sort of plan for its airport parking.

When Hahn ran for re-election his plan for airport parking proved to be a real liability. The residents of Westchester, the neighbors of the Los Angeles Airport, wanted a mayor who seemed to have an ear to their concerns. After listening to all of the candidates, the people of Westchester helped to elect Antonio Villaragosa.

Now Mayor Villaragosa must develop a new plan for correcting the present problems with airport parking at LAX. He faces quite a challenge. He will have to deal with the representatives from all of the surrounding cities.

Smaller cities, like Culver City, CA, could weld a strong influence on the decisions made by the men and women of the airport planning committee. They could help to determine the direction taken by the architects of future airport parking at LAX.

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