Dec. 1, 2016

Beginning Dec. 7, new procedures will be implemented to insure the required separation between Hawthorne Municipal Airport (HHR) departures off Runway 25 and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) arrivals to Runways 25L and 24R.

A waiver has been approved that will allow the Hawthorne Municipal tower to provide visual separation between IFR departures off HHR and IFR arrivals at LAX, if minimum weather conditions exist. These minimums will be a ceiling of 2000 feet or higher, and at least 4 miles visibility.

When prevailing weather does not allow visual separation, standard IFR separation must be applied. Southern California TRACON (SCT) will need to provide a gap on the finals for LAX to both Runway 25L and 24R to facilitate a Hawthorne departure. This gap will be approximately 20 miles, and will reduce the arrival rate at LAX by six to nine arrivals per hour. Los Angeles Center and SCT will coordinate the LAX arrival gaps as needed.

Items to note regarding the new procedure:

  • In VMC to marginal VMC, when ceilings are above 2000 feet and visibility is at or above 4 miles, HHR tower will provide visual separation with LAX arrivals. The arrival rate at LAX will not be affected. Departures at HHR will also not be affected.
  • When conditions are below marginal VMC, SCT will be required to build gaps on the RWY 25L and 24R finals at LAX to accommodate an HHR departure. This translates to 15-20 mile gaps on both runways. A reduction of the LAX arrival rate of six to nine is expected.
  • HHR departures will be delayed until the gaps on the LAX finals are established.
  • Historical weather averages from 2009-2016 indicate that IMC occurs 16 percent of the time between 7 a.m.-7 p.m., with the majority of the time prior to 11 a.m.
  • HHR departures average two per hour, with the majority occurring before the morning arrival push to LAX, or in the late afternoon before the evening arrival push. HHR operators will be encouraged to file for departures outside busier LAX arrival periods when IMC conditions are forecast.

View an FAA memorandum regarding the new procedures. (PDF)