This is a plan enthusiasts dream. It’s the 18th floor of the LAX Marriott and in front of me is view of runways 25L and 25R at the airport. It’s the morning and there is a bustle.
It seems like every minute there is a private jet or a 747 taking off or landing. There is always several planes taxiing for takeoff or on final approach. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this much movement from such a great vantage.
There’s a cargo facility with trucks coming and going, more planes being loaded. DHL and FedEx are loading their flights across the apron.
Hundreds of people every minute are going by. Let’s guess that each plan is an average of 150 people (there’s a mix of regional jets and large passenger jets). Each of those jets is worth tens of millions of dollars, with tens of thousands of dollars worth of fuel on board.
Each one needed to be fueled, loaded, manifests filed, routes planned, crew staffed, etc. There’s a huge amount of orchestration that is needed for this volume of movement. So every one of those planes that touch down or take is hundreds of thousands of dollars of economic value and a chain of transactions where everyone along the way derived some benefit.
It’s hard to appreciate the work when you’re the one sitting on a seat in one of those planes. Literally having this view of all of the work surrounding a flight helps you appreciate it. We all could benefit from this perspective — especially when there’s a delay or something small goes wrong that’s annoying. There are many right things that needed to happen.