SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

January 22, 2007 23:32 ET

Airports' Film-Friendly Policy Contributes $590 Million, 4,800 Jobs to Southern California's Economy

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 22, 2007 -- Los Angeles World Airports' (LAWA) film-friendly policy toward the entertainment industry has contributed $590 million to the region's economy, while encouraging the industry to use its airport locales and retain production work in Southern California.

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today heard the results of a study prepared by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) about LAWA's role in Southern California entertainment productions during 2002 - 2005. The policy follows Mayor Antonio Villariagosa's commitment for the City of Los Angeles to be film-friendly in order to retain the important economic benefits the industry provides to the region.

According to the LAEDC, LAWA's efforts have brought sizeable economic output to the region totaling $590 million between 2002 and 2005. The study said the $190 million attributed to production on LAWA property in 2005 is almost four times the economic output generated in 2002. These figures include both direct and indirect economic activity made possible by industry expenditures.

Commission President Alan Rothenberg said, "To the extent that it helps keep the film industry in L.A., the contributions of LAWA's film-friendly policy and the availability of our facilities are orders of magnitude larger than reported here in the study."

LAWA's film coordinators at Los Angeles International, LA/Ontario International, LA/Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys airports handled 182 productions in 2005, up from 108 in 2002. Airport filming fees for labor and utilities are on a cost recovery, rather than a revenue-producing basis. No permit fees are charged for filming.

The combination of affordability and LAWA providing an adaptable and accessible environment, while maintaining safety and security requirements, helps keep work in Southern California. Producers of television shows, feature films, commercials and other media like the ability to use the airports' real estate as stand-ins for a variety of locales. The recent television series "LAX" used three of the airports, while features like "Mission Impossible III" and "Dreamgirls" had sequences filmed on LAX property.

The study found LAWA's 359 annual production days alone equal one percent of all productions annually in Los Angeles. This number of days has tripled since LAWA's film-friendly policy resumed in 2002, following Sept. 11, 2001.

According to the LAEDC, employment due to film industry projects on LAWA property has grown from 400 full time equivalent jobs in 2002 to 1,600 in 2005. The total number of jobs created over the four-year period was 4,800. Direct and indirect wages attributable to these jobs on LAWA locales grew from $20 million to $100 million annually over the same period. The four-year total of wages attributed to the LAWA policy is $280 million.

The LAEDC study is entitled, "Now Arriving Daily: The Economic Output, Jobs, Wages and City Tax Revenue Attributable to LAWA's Film-Friendly Policy." LAWA commissioned the study which was completed in December 2006. The report is available at www.lawa.org.

Los Angeles World Airports is a City department that owns and operates four airports: Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD) and Van Nuys (general aviation).