These 13 photos show Southern California’s strangely empty airports

Tom Bradley International Terminal
A lone traveler makes his way to catch a flight through a sparse Tom Bradley International Terminal.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
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Airline service in the United States is teetering on the brink of collapse, with near-empty planes and coronavirus outbreaks that have left some air traffic control towers empty.

Even with sharply reduced schedules, airlines are consolidating some of the remaining flights because passengers aren’t showing up.

Los Angeles Times photographers took a look at the changing landscape inside Southland airports. Here are some of the empty and surreal scenes.

LAX

 Terminal 4 at LAX
A poster of a troll who seems to be surprised to see a traveler in a sparsely populated Terminal 4 at LAX.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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Effect coronavirus has had on air travel at LAX
A pair of pedestrians cross the street where the roundabout was traffic-free from time to time due to the effect coronavirus has had on air travel at LAX.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
Tom Bradley International Terminal
Joshua Pace and his wife, Libby, wait for their daughter to return from Japan in a nearly deserted Tom Bradley International Terminal. “I don’t think it can be much quieter,” said Joshua about the nearly vacant terminal.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
A nearly empty terminal at LAX
A nearly empty terminal at LAX.
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

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With demand for air travel in a nosedive, U.S. airlines are taking hundreds of commercial planes out of service and parking them in remote desert airports, with the hope that the aircraft will be back in the air shortly.

The coronavirus outbreak has pushed so many planes out of service that the business of storing aircraft is taking off, with some remote airports parking more and more planes on seldom-used runways and taxiways.

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“There is no doubt, we are extremely busy,” said Lisa Skeels, director of corporate initiatives for ComAv, an aircraft maintenance and storage firm at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

Mojave Air and Space Port
Grounded commercial aircraft are stored at Mojave Air and Space Port.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
Victorville Logistics Airport
Grounded commercial aircraft are stored at Victorville Logistics Airport.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

John Wayne Airport

Empty baggage carousel at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana
An empty baggage carousel at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
 John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana
John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. Airlines are asking the U.S. government for a $50-billion bailout in response to the collapse of their industry because of the coronavirus.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana
John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport
Long Beach Airport, like LAX and John Wayne airport, has seen a significant drop in passengers due to the coronavirus.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
 Long Beach Airport maintenance
Astrid Mota, with Long Beach Airport maintenance, sprays and wipes disinfectant on the security line.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)
Long Beach Airport
A JetBlue Airways employee in an empty terminal at Long Beach Airport.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered Californians to stay at home. With businesses and popular destinations closed, The Times’ Luis Sinco documented the surreal scenes.

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California’s landscape of everyday life is changing under the state’s stay-home order. These drone photos prove it.

On Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills the high-end shops are closed, the normally bustling sidewalks empty because of California coronavirus restrictions.

On Thursday evening, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide “stay at home” order. Los Angeles Times photographer Jay L. Clendenin and videographer Mark Potts document the first night of the order in Hollywood.