Friday, September 8, 2017

Long Beach Airport Security Employee Recognized for Exceptional Work

Officer Gerry Wooldridge


For September 2017, Long Beach Airport would like to recognize an employee who has always gone above and beyond the call of duty. Airport Peace Officer, Gerry Wooldridge, began working at the Airport in 2004 after completing the Long Beach Reserve Academy.

Ready to work!


It is not uncommon to have Officer Wooldridge volunteer for a special project or assignment.  He is continually looking for ways to make himself a more well-rounded employee.  Late last year, Officer Wooldridge accepted a Special Assignment in the access control office.  The need was sparked due to some major personnel changes within the Safety and Security Division.  Officer Wooldridge knew accepting this assignment would dramatically change his work schedule, yet he did so without hesitation.  Officer Wooldridge found himself learning a host of new systems and processes, while being expected to perform at a level in which the Badging Office has become accustomed to.  With his feet barely wet, the Badging Office was forced to make the decision to perform a rebadge of the entire SIDA population, with the Sterile Area and AOA on the horizon as well.  To assist the rebadge process go as smooth as possible, Officer Wooldridge volunteered to come in between 0200 and 0300 (5-6 hours before the office opened) to do nothing more than print badges so as to better prepare the office for the day ahead.  Officer Wooldridge also took on an unexpected expense in the form of child care, allowing him to be as fully available as possible.

Officer Wooldridge cheering up a young traveler


While Officer Wooldridge was doing all this, he continuously kept the positive attitude that he has been known for, always offering a smile and the customer service level our tenants have come to expect.  Officer Wooldridge’s assignment in the Badging office concluded just a few months ago, and he is already asking what he can do next to better set up the Safety and Security Division for success.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Reminiscing on LGB During WWII

On September 2, 1945, World War II officially came to an end. For the United States to emerge victorious as it did, it required involvement from all corners of the nation. Long Beach Airport (LGB), known then as Daugherty Field, was a key contributor as it was home to airfields operated by the U.S. military as well as the Douglas Aircraft manufacturing plant. These accommodations allowed the airport to play a crucial role in the war effort.


Daugherty Field was home to both the Army and Navy during WWII

Long Beach Airport was geographically strategic during WWII due to its proximity to the coast. Expanded to 500 acres prior to the war, the airfield was given to the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) at the airport was committed to servicing carrier borne aircraft as well as patrol planes. Meanwhile, the Army Air Corps occupied the remaining aviation facilities and established a training base.

Among the pilots stationed in Long Beach was aviation icon Barbara London. The only woman in WWII to be awarded the distinguished Air Medal, London was stationed at the Long Beach Army Airfield and commanded a squadron of 18 woman pilots under the Army’s Air Transport Command Ferrying Division.

The war saw immense manufacturing take place at Long Beach Airport. Meeting President Roosevelt’s earlier call for the U.S. to be the “Arsenal of Democracy,” the Douglas Aircraft facility got to work almost immediately after Pearl Harbor. It would go on to deliver 4300 C-47’s, building one every three hours, in addition to 2200 A-20’s and A-26’s as well as 3000 B-17’s.

This wartime production was not possible without the involvement of women. Rosie the Riveter was a considerable presence at Douglas, where women made up 50 percent of the workforce. They proved women were more than capable of working outside the home, an idea previously implausible in American culture.


Barbara London joined the Air Force Reserve following the war

Long Beach Airport returned to its commercial functions following the war. However, the wartime operations would leave its impact. Barbara London would go on to become a Major in the U.S. Air Force, continuing to inspire women to pursue aviation. The site adjacent to the former Douglas plant is now Rosie the Riveter Park, named in honor of the women who worked there. As for the airport itself, it remains a manufacturing and development site for various aircraft companies.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cosmic Girl Homecoming Flight

            



           Cosmic Girl, the Boeing 747-400 that will serve as an aerial launch pad for space company Virgin Orbit, will be unveiled at a private event on July 31 at Ross Aviation at Long Beach Airport (LGB). The aircraft will touch down this afternoon and be parked at LGB. The noise levels associated with this operation will be slightly louder than those generated by aircraft that typically operate at Long Beach Airport. 



Virgin Orbit



Formerly a commercial airliner, Cosmic Girl was purchased in 2015 by Virgin Orbit for its LauncherOne program. The aircraft was housed at an out-of-state facility for modification, but will be parked at LGB when not in use. Cosmic Girl is piloted by Air Force veteran Kelly Latimer and co-pilot Richard Nelson.


Virgin Orbit is a new commercial space company that specializes in launching small satellites. Its LauncherOne program based in Long Beach in the Douglas Park complex since 2015, looks to produce flexible, responsive low-cost launch services to meet increased demand over the coming years. Launches will occur in the Mojave Air and Space Port and are projected to start in the first half of 2018. The Long Beach Airport Aviation Area Complex has long been a center of development for the aviation industry, and is proud to be the home of the innovative Virgin Orbit.

For more information, follow Virgin Orbit:


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Long Beach Airport Operations Employee Recognized for Outstanding Work


For February 2017, Long Beach Airport would like to recognize an employee who has gone above and beyond his day-to-day duties. Welton Trang began working at Long Beach Airport (LGB) in a non-career role in 2014 and is now a valuable full-time employee in the Operations department.


He is currently putting his IT and computer skills to use as he develops the airport’s SharePoint website; the project began as an Operations-only page, but after interest from others, the project became multi-departmental and Trang is happy to take on the challenge. Trang has also played a key role in multiple incidents involving disabled aircraft, helping to move the aircraft off of the runway so that commercial service and general aviation could resume.


Trang puts his skills to use to help everyone he meets. From supporting the Airport’s Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) at food fundraisers to putting his photography skills to use for the Public Affairs department, he has consistently gone above and beyond to help other employees. Most recently, he created a slideshow highlighting the ERC’s 2016 Holiday Party.


Trang is currently representing LGB at the 57th annual Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) Winter Conference in Monterey, CA.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Improved Roadways and Walkways Arrive at LGB

Right before the winter holidays began, over a month of construction and maintenance in front of the historic terminal at Long Beach Airport (LGB) came to an end.

One crosswalk was removed to enhance pedestrian safety.
Directly in front of the terminal, a lane was added to improve the flow of traffic; there are now three lanes total, allowing one for loading and two for vehicles to pass through. The center median was enhanced with the addition of a safety railing and now provides more room for travelers being picked up and dropped off. Safety was also improved with a raised, widened crosswalk that will help reduce the speed of vehicles in front of the historic terminal building.


Safety railing was added to the widened median.
This month, construction is set to begin on Lot A, the parking structure nearest to the historic terminal, to enhance safety and accessibility for travelers who park at LGB. The garage's enclosed staircases will be replaced with outdoor stairways, the existing elevator will be updated and replaced with two elevators, vehicle entry and exit points will be modified, lighting and interior painting will be improved, and parking spaces will be restriped. Renovations are set to be complete by Fall 2017.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Water Treatment Facility to be Constructed near Long Beach Airport

Hard hats and shovels at the groundbreaking ceremony
On Monday, December 12, 2016, representatives from Long Beach Airport, the City of Long Beach, the City of Signal Hill, and CalTrans gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for a storm water capture and treatment facility located southeast of the Airport.

Airport Director Romo and other Airport representatives
The Los Cerritos Channel Sub-Basin 4 Storm Water Capture project is one of multiple construction projects occurring around the Airport. The project is also one of six projects around the airport focused on water capture and treatment. Upon completion, the facility will be able to collect 120 acre-feet of storm and rain water. The water capture and treatment facility will trap zinc and copper fragments from storm water to prevent them from entering the Los Cerritos Channel. Subsidized by an $11 million grant from CalTrans, the total cost of the project is $50 million.

Representatives from the City of Signal Hill pose in their hard hats.
The facility will be located away from public view and construction should not impact Airport operations. The contractor must abide by a vertical clearance so that equipment and stockpiles do not block flight paths; construction that requires tall equipment must be completed after the Airport’s main runway (30/12) closes in the evening. The project is expected to be completed by December 2017.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Long Beach Airport’s Festival of Flight Proves Itself a Sky High Success

On Saturday, November 5, nearly 5,000 people attended Long Beach Airport’s (LGB) fourth annual Festival of Flight on the west side of the airfield. Despite early morning fog, this year’s event proved to be bigger and better than before due to the efforts of Airport personnel and Councilwoman Stacy Mungo of the 5th District.

Councilwoman Mungo, Airport Director Romo, and Commander Chuck Street take the stage.
Formerly known as the Fly-In, the biggest event of its kind in the Long Beach area brought together families and people of all ages. The Festival’s Veteran’s Day theme was made evident during the opening ceremonies; members of the military presented the colors, the National Anthem was performed, and speakers including Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, Airport Director Jess L. Romo, and Commander Chuck Street led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Crowds surround the Orbis DC-10.
Static aircraft displays included WWII-era warbirds, a Gulfstream Jet, a Citation Mustang, and a Catalina Flying Boat DC-3. With a line spanning nearly half of the event space, the most popular aircraft at the event proved to be the Orbis DC-10. This aircraft was the second DC-10 produced by McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach and was later converted into an ophthalmic hospital and teaching facility to serve developing countries. After the event, the DC-10 was set to take its final flight to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson for retirement and public display.

The Condor Squadron performs a flyover before landing at the Festival.
Away from the airfield, fun for the whole family was plentiful with live music provided by Rock for Vets, a musical rehabilitation program for at-risk youth and veterans, and food and drink provided by vendors such as The Hungry Nomad, Belly Bombz, Roxanne’s Cocktail Lounge, and Legends Sports Bar. Children were treated to jumpers, assisted rock climbing, and face painting. Airport and City vehicles comprised an interactive Touch-A-Truck display and a car show was put on by Honoring our Fallen, an organization that supports our nation’s fallen heroes and their families. Vendors present included the Toyota Grand Prix, Eagle Scouts, TSA, a local independent chocolate company, and a bilingual education program.

A glimpse of Honoring our Fallen's car show.
Attendees praised the free event for providing family-friendly fun and a rare inside look at the Airport. This year’s event hosted more than double the amount of guests who visited in 2015. With public interest growing and more aircraft and activities gracing the airfield each year, the Festival of Flight promises to be a Long Beach mainstay for years to come.

Catalina Flying Boats DC-3