LAX Mini Route sporadically being given again


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Apr 24, 2018
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KSMO was departing Runway 3 due to some strong winds, but LAX was still west. Someone asked for the Mini and got it, so I asked for it as well, since I know IFR is nearly impossible off 3 and it was clear. Low and behold, they got me one too. LAX controller was very nice and I thanked him for it. I've heard some other recent stories about people getting it more often - maybe the staffing issues at LAX have gotten a little better.
Interesting. I’ve wanted to fly the mini route for quite some time but never gotten the chance to.
Wow, I think I last flew that in 2010
Last time I asked and received was in October '19 out of TOA to VNY. Started drifting from the track, LAX guy mentioned it to me, I told him I am fixing it now, he said OK.
What’s the LAX Mini Route?

One of the 5 published LAX Bravo VFR transition routes. If you are VFR you either fly one of those to transition or avoid Bravo airspace all together. Rare circumstances to get LAX Bravo approval anywhere else.

The Mini Route is cool because you only have transition a small sliver a Bravo surface area but you get to do it at 2500' right over the middle of LAX airport complex. Has not been open because unlike the other routes where you stay on with SoCal, the Mini Route gets a handoff to LAX Tower and they have reportedly been having staffing level issues so as of recent the Mini Route has not been an option.

It is useful if you need to get into SMO or HHR which are a stones throw either side of LAX and you are on the wrong side of the Bravo...of if you want a great sightseeing flight with the Heavies taking off and landing right under you
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What’s the LAX Mini Route?

It is one of the 2 VFR transitions that cross LAX midfield, and the only one that lets you keep ATC services the whole way. As said, it is extremely useful for HHR and SMO, and can also be useful for LGB and TOA. This is true of arrivals and departures involving those airports. For a few years, it was open regularly and encouraged (the SFRA gets very close to transiting IFR traffic and let's aircraft not on FF transit the insanely busy airspace without talking to anyone). About 2 years ago, it stopped being available pretty much at all. There have been sporadic reports of it being open again, at times.
There's now a NOTAM out from the manager at LAX Tower about it. Workload permitting, it is back open.