Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) had a 4.7% increase in passenger volume in 2011 to 61.8 million passengers, compared to 59 million in 2010. There was a 4.6% growth in domestic passenger numbers to 45.1 million, and international traffic also rose 4.9% to 16.7 million.
However, airport officials reported that total cargo tonnage had dropped 3.8% to 1.85 million in 2011, compared to 1.93 million in the previous year. Air mail tonnage rose 8.6% to 80,442 tons, yet freight goods decreased 4.2% to 1.77 million tons.
The total number of air traffic movements increased 4.8% from 575,835 in 2010, to 603,912 in 2011.
Gina Marie Lindsey, Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates LAX, said: “The increased passenger activity at LAX is attributable to several things: new international services, an improving Asian economy, and a modest, but perceptible, strengthening of the Southern California economy.”
She added: “While LAX has not come close to seeing its pre-9/11 traffic of 67 million passengers, the 2011 activity demonstrates a stronger travel demand than we’ve seen in several years.”
Ms Lindsey described the loss in cargo tonnage as “puzzling” and said the company would be analysing how the decrease has occurred.