In 1931 the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission (RPC) presented a Comprehensive plan for airport development which envisioned LA as a new kind of city of multiple centers concentrated around regional airports. This new concept of how a city could develop was a radical shift from the historical centralized model and sought to capitalize on the new industrial processes which prefered locate in less dense areas where there was access tolarger sites and easy access to transporation centers.

The RPC’s vision for the future development of Los Angeles turned out to be uncannily accurate and forward thinking in its scope, dispelling the myth that Los Angeles developed in a haphazard manner. During the 1930’s and 1940’s the regional airports of Los Angeles were able to lure nearly all the major airplane manufactures, capitalizing on the mild weather and the military’s interest in dispersing manufacturing for security reasons. Some of the manufactures to set up shop in Los Angeles included Douglas Aircraft at Santa Monica airport, Lockheed at Van Nuys Airport, Hughes to Los Angeles Airport, and Vulteee aircraft, Northrop, and North American Aviation to various airports in the LA county. For over 50 years this concentration of aviation design and manufacturing helped propel the economic growth and development of Los Angeles.

The mulit-nodal city of Los Angeles, as is looks today, is largely a result of the planned dispersion of industrial centers, reinforcing an inclination that was evident from the first settlements. Today the airports of los angeles continue to provide economic stimulus as they transition from aircraft manufacturing centers toward information hubs feeding the communication based industries.


los angeles airport master plan