By Scott Mayerowitz
Operations at Los Angeles International Airport were returning to normal by Saturday afternoon following Friday's shooting that killed a Transportation Security Administration officer and closed parts of the airport.
Airport officials said Saturday that LAX's Terminal 3 had reopened. Officials urged travelers who left belongings behind in the shooting's aftermath to work with their airline to claim possessions.
Thousands of fliers across the U.S. were delayed after the shooting closed parts of the airport. The prolonged shutdown at the nation's third-largest airport was particularly troublesome for those hoping to head to the East Coast or across the Pacific Ocean.About 1,550 flights with 167,000 passengers were affected, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said in a statement Saturday. Of those, 724 were scheduled arrivals with an estimated 67,850 passengers and 826 were departures with an estimated 99,200 passengers on board. The situation was improving by Saturday. Daniel Baker, CEO of flight tracking site FlightAware, said in an email Saturday that there were "no notable delays" and 28 cancellations related to the LAX shooting. After Friday's shooting, flights bound for Los Angeles that had not yet taken off were held at their gates for hours by the Federal Aviation Administration. The "ground stop" lasted several hours. Some flights already in the air were allowed to land at LAX, while others diverted to nearby airports. Some passengers who landed at LAX after the shooting spent at least two hours sitting on planes parked in a remote corner of the airport. The ripple effect was felt across the country. Tasi Lua arrived at LAX after the shooting Friday, but was unable to board his flight to Denver. He found a corner in Terminal 2, plugged in his laptop and cellphone and slept on the floor. "I'm used to traveling, and things happening," said the 25-year-old. "It wasn't too bad. I could see other people who weren't taking it as well." Even though the airport never fully closed, travelers trying to fly out were unable to reach it because of massive road closures. Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates the Los Angeles airport, said it will take "quite a deal of time" to get operations back to normal. She said it will be a "carefully orchestrated logistical ballet."