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June 26, 2014 // Facility Spotlight: Los Angeles Center (ZLA)

Los Angeles ARTCC was commissioned on March 15, 1937, in Burbank, Calif. In 1943, the Center moved to 7th and Flower Streets in Los Angeles, then to Inglewood in 1946, and finally to Palmdale, its current location, in 1963.

The level 12 facility is responsible for approximately 177,000 square miles of airspace. Over 45 percent of ZLA’s total airspace is Special Use Airspace, used by the military, which makes it challenging to service the busy airports nearby.

ZLA works closely with many other facilities, including four other En Route Centers, five Approach Control facilities, one international Area Control facility, one international Approach Control facility, and three military Approach Control facilities. The major airports that ZLA serves are LAX, LAS, SAN, ONT, LGB, BUR, VNY, and SMO.

The facility’s location brings it 300 days of sunshine a year, which means year-round general aviation and military operations. Controllers at ZLA work small general aviation aircraft, private business aircraft, domestic and international airlines, and military aircraft from premier military installations including Edwards Air Force Base, MCAS Miramar, Camp Pendleton, and MCAGCC 29 Palms.

ZLA serves airports that host many special events including fly-ins, aviation conventions, VIP visits, Super Bowls, and national championship events.

NATCA ZLA keeps busy with solidarity events throughout the year. A few events include summer BBQs, sporting events, poker events, and an annual holiday party – they even have Santa stop by the party for the members’ kids!

ZLA NATCA FacRep Nate Pair says he is proud to represent the group of dedicated members at the facility. He says though the facility is understaffed and the traffic count is high every day, his members work tirelessly to keep ZLA’s airspace safe and efficient. He adds that his membership has transformed the local NATCA chapter into a very forward-thinking group.

“Our members are consistently at the forefront of change and are willing to try new things that promote professionalism, safety, and efficiency,” says Pair. “Being able to represent a group of such dedicated NATCA members is one of the greatest privileges I have ever had.”