Los Angeles area GA airports


Going to the LA area and looking for a good GA friendly airport. The plane will be there for two weeks while I am overseas. Any suggestions?


I’ll watch it for you!


Torrance Airport ZAMPERINI FIELD great GA airport, no jets, close to LAX, and in a nice area of the city.


Van Nuys is a classic (hopefully you’ve seen 16 right), Fullerton is small and GA friendly, Santa Monica avoids the LAX class B if you’re coming from the north and John Wayne and Long Beach do the same from the south. You’ll find many small planes at every LA airport other than LAX.


Sounds like you want to fly as close to LAX as possible in order to catch an airline flight. ? If so I vote for Santa Monica also. Torrance and Van Nuys are good, but a bit farther away.


If you’re airlining out of LAX, you can’t get any closer than here: KHHR
Less than 4 nm from LAX, and less expensive than SMO.


Van Nuys is my all time favorite. Very friendly people although it is quite busy.


I lived in Los Angeles for 16 years, and have been in and out of all the airports.

The best two choices bar none, are Santa Monica on the north of LAX which is a great little airport, though they really cater to all the exec jets, and Torrance to the south, the safest best area for an airport in the Southland, which is why it has 500 based GA Aircraft.

Rolling Hills Estates is up the ‘hill’, the highest income zip code in America, your GA aircraft by far, is safest left for two weeks at Torrance.

As for Hawthorne Airport, it is a dump in a very bad area. If you ever watch America’s most wanted, you may have seen an episode with Chuch Norris, whose families friend landed at Hawthorne. The power went out at Torrance, and ATC asked if he wanted to go to Long Beach, or Hawthorne.

He stepped outside on Crenshaw, and a car with 4 gang bangers pulled up and shot him dead!!! Hawthorne is a dump, in a BAD area!!! Never mind your plane, your not safe.

A GA aircraft left unattended is far safer at Torrance, than Santa Monica, and safer than any Southland airport. If your overnighting there, stay at the Holiday Inn/Crown hotel in Redondo Beach. Beach is across the street, restaurants everywhere, rooftop pool overlooking the ocean, and 5 minutes to your plane, and 10 minutes to LAX.

SNA Santa Monica
TOA Torrance Airport


Thanks for all the responses. Sounds like Torrence is the spot.


I’ll keep that in mind. It’s been several years since I’ve been there and I didn’t stray too far from the field. I recognized that it was old and somewhat industrial around there, but I didn’t get to see that it was that bad.


If you want to be a little closer to downtown LA, Century City, Beverly Hills, etc, there’s Santa Monica Airport! I might be a bit biased since I’m a controller there though . . .

I’m not sure why SMO would not be as safe as TOA. . .I’ve never seen or heard of anyone having a problem with their airplane here – and the field is patrolled 24 hrs by the SMO PD.


Santa Monica - the old home of Douglas Aircraft Company, and the storage area for Jerry Seinfeld’s Porsche’s. It is certainly a first class airport, lots of action, many corporate jets and VIPS.

I actually like Santa Monica airport, and have relatives that live near by. True, close to Downtown, Beverly Hills, Brentwood etc… There is alot of people traffic on the ramps, with access to aircraft, and the smaller GA aircraft are kinda 2nd class citizens.

Torrance is made up mostly of locals from within the GA community. It is far more laid back, and far less traffic, in both aircraft, and people with access to your aircraft. It is the home of Bob Hoover and Robinson Helicopter.

Torrance, you can tie down right in front of the control tower and airport building, with very little people traffic, very, very secure.

If I were visiting for the day, Santa Monica is the life of the party, but for parking an unattended aircraft for a period of time, I’d do Torrance.


Now that I’ve been enlightened about Hawthorne…robbreid sums it up very nicely. If you go to SMO and happen to see the detailers working on Jerry’s cars, they will ususally let you look around at his collection as long as you promise to not take pictures, and stay out of his office/lounge areas.


I’ve always found SMO to be very safe. Whenever I’ve left when the tower is closed, the airport security drives up to check things out. I’ve never had a problem with a plane left there for a few days.


Not entirely true. TOA does have some jet traffic. Flex flies in there on occasion. While there isn’t much jet traffic, I just wanted the OP to be aware if that factored in to his decision.


I’ve been into TOA last summer with the jet that I fly. What they don’t have available at TOA is Jet A.


Touche! Correction!!! Very few jets in and out of Torrance. I haven’t lived down there since 1999, and back then jets were very rare indeed.

Torrance is defintely not the airport to go to if you want to see biz jets.

The airport is located at the base of the ‘Hill’, that you see in the south west corner of LA. Down the street is Del Amo Mall, I don’t know if it still is, 2nd largest mall in America.

Also located 5 minutes from the South Bay Beaches, Redondo, Hermosa, Manhattan.


I was just throwing out there that I’ve been to TOA with the jet… Jet ops at TOA are definitely the exception rather than a norm. TOA is also pretty noise sensitive, with the nice housing on the hill to the west. I had lunch at a nice little deli down the street from the Ford dealership…good sammich. :wink:


Wonder if as you were approaching they said, “Uh oh, we gotta nut ball tryin to land a jet here!”


I imagine that CAFlier would agree with that…the “nut ball” part anyway… :wink:

But we are Stage IV so it’s not like we were rattling any windows or anything…