Less than two years after legal battles were settled over the proposed expansion at Los Angeles International Airport, opponents charged Tuesday that officials are using recent safety problems to revive debate about the need for enlarging LAX. The...

But the mayor also would want to look at other options first, Szabo added.

Reports challenged

A series of reports released in June found that the runways are cramped and can't handle air traffic safely or effectively, but opponents have questioned some of the conclusions.

Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said LAX currently handles 61 million passengers a year, significantly below a 78.9 million cap through 2020.

But, she said, future safety needs should be addressed now.

``All we are saying is, as we are looking at how to safely handle today's traffic, we also need to look at how to safely handle tomorrow's traffic, because tomorrow is right around the corner,'' Lindsey said.

While efforts to spread air traffic across the region are part of the mix -- including flights to Mexico out of Ontario and domestic flights at Palmdale -- Lindsey said there is no scenario that will supplant LAX as the region's international destination.

``We're not going to shut the door on the international traffic at LAX,'' she said.

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