The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) radio station, LAX AirRadio 530 AM, has become the nation’s most powerful airport radio broadcaster, reaching a wider coverage area of listeners with a signal ten times stronger than the previous one.

The expanded signal of the 100-watt radio station was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in March, and had a debut broadcast Wednesday, November 17th.

Tom Winfrey, LAX spokesman, said the station’s new signal is “very clear” and can be heard as far as the Harbor Freeway (I-110), the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) and into West Los Angeles.

The radio station, which has been in operation since the early 1970s, was created to provide traffic, parking and other airport information to travelers in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

The old signal could reach a distance of only about one to two miles, Winfrey said.

LAX officials requested the signal increase for security reasons because of the airport’s position as a terrorist target and its need to reach more travelers, who arrive mostly by car, he said.

“We made our case as an important part of our security program,” he said. “This station is directed specifically toward travelers coming to the airport and we need to let them know what’s happening.”

When the FCC granted the station’s signal increase to 100 watts, LAX received authorization for the nation’s most powerful airport radio broadcast.

LAX purchased a new transmitter and installed a 50-foot antenna at the station for the more powerful signal.

LAX AirRadio 530 AM airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day and has live announcers during heavy travel times to provide current parking and traffic conditions at the airport.

The radio station can also be heard on the airport Web site at www.lawa.org

The newly expanded broadcast will reach many more travelers who need to be informed when various situations arise at LAX, and allow them to make the appropriate plans.

“It will reach people well before they arrive,” Winfrey said.

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