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, according to a study presented to the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.
Los Angeles World Airports is the agency that owns and operates the city’s four airports — Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD) and Van Nuys.
The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners heard the results of the study Monday, January 22nd, prepared by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) about the role of Los Angeles World Airports in Southern California entertainment productions from 2002 to 2005.
The policy follows Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’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.
Los Angeles World Airports’ efforts have brought sizable economic output to the region totaling $590 million between 2002 and 2005, the study showed.
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.
“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,” commission president Alan Rothenberg said.
The airport agency’s film coordinators at the four 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 and no permit fees are charged for filming.
The combination of affordability and Los Angeles World Airports providing an adaptable and accessible environment, while maintaining safety and security requirements, helps keep work in Southern California, according to the report.
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 report says.
The recent television series LAX used three of the airports, while feature films such as Mission Impossible III and Dreamgirls had sequences filmed on LAX property.
The study found that the city airports’ 359 annual production days alone equal one percent of all productions annually in Los Angeles. This number of days has tripled since the film-friendly policy resumed in 2002, following the period immediately after September 11th, 2001.
According to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, 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.
Los Angeles World Airports commissioned the study, which was completed in December. The report is available at www.lawa.org