Friday, July 31, 2015

$54K Noise Violation Settlement Will Fund Local Events

Funds totaling $54,000 from a recent settlement with a charter airline will go toward community events for residents that live within the flight path, a local non-profit has said.

The fine will be paid to the Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF), a non-profit that provides funds and assistance to charitable organizations throughout the city.

“Most likely it will be something that’s already happening that we can contribute to, rather than do something that’s completely new and different,” said Marcelle Epley, President & CEO of LBCF. Epley also said she expects the funds to go toward an event that occurs before the end of 2015.

Kalitta Airlines, a Michigan-based charter airline with a long history of operating out of Long Beach Airport, agreed to the settlement after pleading guilty to 12 misdemeanor counts of violating the Noise Ordinance between June 2014 and March 2015. The Long Beach prosecutor’s office brought 13 charges against Kalitta in April, but the airline provided proof that one of the violations was chartered by the military and therefore exempt. Since they were notified of this case in April, the airline has not violated the Noise Ordinance.

“This agreement will help protect the community from excessive airport noise, while at the same time saving taxpayers the expense of a jury trial,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “The company has taken responsibility for the violations. I believe Kalitta will take appropriate steps to avoid these kinds of operations in the future.”

All operators at Long Beach Airport are informed of the Noise Ordinance rules, which include a range of noise decibel levels ranging from 102.5 decibels during the day to 79 decibels at night. Each violation incurred a $4,500 fine, adding up to the $54,000 total.

Long Beach Airport has entered into similar consent decrees in the past, with business partners such as Komar Aviation, JetBlue Airways and American Airlines, Inc. for their respective violations. The consent decree with Kalitta requires that the airline not violate the Noise Ordinance again for the next twelve months, or else incur a fine of $6,000 per violation. Kalitta could also have its permission to use the airport revoked by the Airport Manager.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Disposal Bins Placed at LGB After Fruit Fly Quarantine

Disposal bins have been placed at several locations inside Long Beach Airport recently, in response to an 80-square mile quarantine that includes LGB and large portions of Long Beach. Passengers will not be allowed to travel with fruits and vegetables that were homegrown within the quarantine zone, and the USDA asks that they use these new bins to dispose of them before boarding their flight.

The quarantine is for the Guava Fruit Fly, which has been discovered within the quarantine zone and can pose a hazard to vital local crops. The quarantine zone also includes portions of Lynwood, Downey, Norwalk, Paramount, Compton, Artesia, Lakewood and Hawaiian Gardens. In the past, Guava Fruit Flies caused extensive damage to crops in Pakistan, India and Thailand. They were first discovered in this region when they surfaced in Orange County in 1986, and have been identified sporadically since.

State officials discovered six male Guava Fruit Flies within the quarantine zone back in mid-May, and quickly outlined a plan to eradicate them from the area. Originating in southern Asia, the Guava Fruit Fly lays its eggs in fruits and vegetables, quickly rendering them inedible. Crops most at risk include guava, peach, cherry, citrus and melons. They can also be found in apples, bananas, cherries, papaya, plums and others.

As a result, fruits and vegetables that were grown within the quarantine zone will not be permitted through the Security checkpoint. Please be sure to dispose of locally-grown fruits and vegetables in the marked bins, and help us ensure that these insects do not spread to other locations.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Work Zone: Stay Alert For Detours During Construction

New construction on the airfield at Long Beach Airport began this week, necessitating a new perimeter road route. This new route is directly adjacent to an active taxiway, narrowing the space that taxiing pilots may be accustomed to. As a result, pilots and drivers alike will need to exercise extreme caution, and should have full understanding of the temporary boundaries until construction in this area is completed in about five months.

This construction, the fourth phase of a six-phase project, began last Wednesday evening. The project area is directly south of Taxiway F and west of Runway 16R-34L, and involves four construction zones that are each located on the usual perimeter road. These construction zones will be barricaded, in order to direct automobiles onto the temporary perimeter road – which is located north of the original perimeter road and parallel to Taxiway F.

Aircraft will continue to use Taxiway F during this time, and it has been narrowed to accommodate the temporary perimeter road. For this reason, please be alert and attentive when traveling on either the taxiway or the road.

Phase four of the project will be completed in approximately 5-6 weeks, followed by Phases five and six, which will each take about 5-6 weeks to complete, as well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

F/A-18 Pilot Meet & Greet Draws Hundreds to LGB

A very special holiday treat rolled into Long Beach Airport, as hundreds of people gathered for an up-close look at the flock of U.S. Marines F/A-18 aircraft stationed here over the Memorial Day weekend.

The event was hosted on the ramp at Signature Flight Support LGB, which provides space and services to the military during their time here. Those in attendance could walk right up to the jets as they rested between training exercises, and even had an opportunity to speak with the pilots. Airport personnel estimate that nearly 500 people of all ages came to the meet and greet.

Training exercises began last Thursday, lasted through the weekend and will wrap up today. Thankfully, the Marines were able to carve out a few hours of time to welcome the community on Saturday afternoon, and even with short notice the response was fantastic. There could be no better way to show appreciation for our servicemen and women this Memorial Day.

Special thanks to Signature for graciously hosting the event, the Marines for taking the time out of their busy schedules, and the community for making it all possible. Until next time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Long Beach Airport to Host F/A-18 Military Jets Over Holiday Weekend

This upcoming Memorial Day weekend will feature some familiar sights and sounds of the United States military, thanks to the arrival of several U.S. Marine Corps jets that will conduct operations from Long Beach Airport (LGB) over several days.

Between four and six F/A-18 aircraft will fly into LGB on Thursday morning, and stay in town until Tuesday morning. The aircraft will depart each morning between 9:00-10:00am, and return in the late afternoon. One of the most widely used U.S. aircraft in combat situations, the F/A-18 Hornet is a crowd-pleaser. Its arrival at LGB is often met with crowds of aviation fans and "spotters" who line nearby parking lots for a close look.

The Marine Corps has consistently demonstrated a desire to assist Long Beach Airport in being a good neighbor, and voluntarily suggested that they limit the number of arrivals and departures to/from LGB. Daily training and refueling operations will be conducted at remote airfields.

F/A-18 aircraft are noticeably louder than other aircraft and are easily heard in neighborhoods near Long Beach Airport. The aircraft will utilize noise abatement procedures when operating in the vicinity of Long Beach. These procedures include modified arrival and departure flight profiles and minimum use of afterburners.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Long Beach Airport Flies Into 2015 Pride Parade

More than fifty people joined the Long Beach Airport (LGB) delegation at the 2015 Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade over the weekend, to celebrate with tens of thousands of people lining Ocean Blvd. for miles along the scenic coast.

Airport employees, and their friends and families, climbed onto a balloon-filled float or airplane-themed golf cart, or simply walked along the route, waving and reveling with the electric crowd. Every participant sported a powder blue t-shirt with the LGB logo on the front, and this year’s Pride slogan – “Color Our World With Pride” – emblazoned across the back. They also passed out LGB pom-poms as people danced in the streets, waved from balconies and partied on rooftops.

This was also the first Pride Parade attended by Airport Director Bryant L. Francis, C.M., after he arrived at the helm in January, and he reported that he had a great time. Special thanks goes also to our dedicated team of volunteers, who made our participation possible. LGB would also like to thank the No Toro food truck team for joining us.

See you at Pride 2016!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Restoration Work Begins On Historic Tile Mosaics at LGB

Made up of over 2.6 million tiles, the award-winning floor mosaics in the Long Beach Airport historic terminal have welcomed passengers for more than seven decades, and today, engineers are carefully hand-laying replacement tiles to renovate damaged areas.

Because the Long Beach Airport historic terminal has been deemed a Cultural Heritage Landmark, any proposed renovations must pass stringent requirements before work can begin. In preparation for this arduous project, Long Beach Airport consulted with the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission to establish a protocol for restoration. Because the original tiles are now exceedingly rare, our engineers spent six months consulting with art preservationists. Over 23 different colors were used in the original work, and experts worked diligently to match the rare tiles as closely as possible.

The restoration is an intricate process. Workers begin by cleaning the ceramic tiles to prepare the work area, and then use hand tools to remove the existing grout, while taking care not to damage adjacent tiles. The damaged tiles can then be removed, and replaced by newer tiles. In some work spaces, tiles will be meticulously cut, and the new tiles will be handset, piece by piece.

With over seven decades of wear-and-tear, the mosaics have endured the weight of tens of millions of travelers. Since the 2012 removal of carpet in the terminal, another three million passengers annually have crossed through Long Beach Airport’s historic terminal.

After all the foot traffic—and rolling bags—over the tiles, the restoration will refresh the decorative mosaic floor. During this time, some areas will be cordoned off to allow the new tiles to set.

Finished in 1941 by California artist Grace Clements, the mosaics belong to a rich fabric of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal history. To help support struggling artists in the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration hired artists like Clements, and architects W. Horace Austin and Kenneth Wing, Sr. as a part of the United States Government’s Federal Art Project.

The mosaics highlight the economic drivers of Long Beach in the 1940s—aviation, oil, and communications—that awoke a sleepy beach town and birthed a thriving urban waterfront. The pieces—on the first and second floor of the main terminal—celebrate classic Streamline Moderne design and emphasize the nation’s industrial resources as the country emerged from the Great Depression and prepared to enter World War II.

The mosaics continue to reflect the importance of industry to Long Beach’s success.