Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Airport Drill Will Put Emergency Response to the Test

Airport staff and security will be on high alert in the late hours of Friday, April 24, even though no planes will be scheduled to arrive or depart at that time.
That’s because the LGB Air Ex 2015 Triennial drill, held every three years to adhere to FAA requirements, will take place. The drill simulates an emergency situation and puts all levels of airport response to the test. It is vital training that provides real experience to the airport first responders.
“It allows us to exercise our mass casualty incident policies and procedures, and take our personnel and run them through a large scale exercise,” said LBFD Battalion Chief James Underwood. “We are in a position to execute some of our plans and evaluate them.”
The Triennial involves multiple agencies, and is evaluated by the FAA. Hundreds of volunteers will be on hand to play many different roles that staff are likely to come into contact with in the event of a real situation.
The last time that Long Beach Airport hosted the drill was in 2012, when the daytime simulation involved a large aircraft with 95 souls aboard crashing into a small aircraft with four others aboard. Back in 2009, the drill occurred at night, and simulated a 6.4-magnitude earthquake less than two miles away.
The Triennial is also important because it brings many players together all at once.
“You’re going to interact with so many different agencies, and it helps you put a face to names,” said Karl Zittel, Superintendent of Airport Operations.
“We also can fine tune our emergency plan if we see items that need improvement, and update with the FAA to make sure that the plan is reflective of the lessons learned.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Huge Turnout "Runs The Runway" To Reopen 7L-25R at Long Beach Airport

It had been 22 years since the public was invited onto a runway at Long Beach Airport, and they certainly made the most of the opportunity. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,400 people attended a “Run The Runway” event at LGB to welcome the reopening of Runway 7L-25R and participate in a one-mile fun run.

Some participants ran like the wind and completed the mile in just around six minutes. Most people, however, took their time and enjoyed the sights and sounds of being on a runway while flights continued to operate around other areas of the airport. After all, there was a lot to see. Long Beach Fire Department Station 16 brought their emergency truck, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department brought a helicopter, Catalina Flying Boats brought their historic DC-3 and several small general aviation aircraft were also on display. If there was ever an event to inspire a future generation of pilots, it was Run the Runway at LGB.

Local elected officials also turned out to celebrate the event. Long Beach City Councilmembers included Al Austin, Roberto Uranga and Stacy Mungo. Lakewood Mayor Jeff Wood also attended, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia cut the ribbon to officially mark the opening of 25R. The most coveted job of all, though, went to Long Beach Airport Director Bryant L. Francis, who waved a giant orange-checkered flag to mark the official start of the fun run.

If that wasn’t enough, local favorites MOVE brought the jams with performances before and after the run. Meanwhile, the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream truck offered delicious artisan treats. It was truly an all-encompassing event, made even better thanks to the enormous crowd and their excitement and enthusiasm.

Runway 7L-25R will officially open for aviation activity on April 17 as the secondary runway for commercial flights, and will handle a large portion of our general aviation activity.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Long Beach Airport Set to Star on Small Screen

Long Beach Airport Director Bryant L. Francis and Mayor Robert Garcia discuss a commitment to sustainability with Things Green host Nick Federoff.

Film crews and television stars are familiar sights in Long Beach, and recently, the airport itself has had plenty of chances for a starring role. Two different programs have visited in the last few weeks, and before long you may be able to spot LGB from the comfort of your living room couch.

Set design for Criminal Minds taping.
The first to visit was Criminal Minds, the popular CBS thriller about staying one step ahead of the bad guys. The producers needed a scene set in an airport, with very specific requests. So set designers actually transformed the baggage claim area outside of the main terminal, from Long Beach Airport to another country entirely. Passengers that were arriving and departing may have been a little confused to see signs that said “Welcome to Barbados” and “Bridgetown International Airport” hanging all around. Several enormous plants and trees were brought in for a more tropical feel. Cast members like Shemar Moore were very gracious and posed for several pictures with fans. The episode is expected to air later this year.

Only a week later, Long Beach Airport welcomed another film crew for an entirely different kind of shoot. This time, PBS visited in order to film an episode of the new show Things Green With Nick Federoff, set to launch its first season in late summer. Federoff has hosted radio shows for decades that focus on gardening and green living, so LGB was thrilled to show him a wide variety of environmentally friendly aspects of the airport. He toured the concourse, main terminal and even the airfield itself to get a glimpse of how beauty and sustainability come together to create a truly unique flying experience. We also welcomed the Long Beach Press-Telegram, who published an article about the filming, which you can read here. Federoff even spoke with Airport Director Bryant L. Francis and Mayor Robert Garcia, and we can’t wait to see them all when the episode premieres on August 22, at 9:00am on KLCS.

Nick Federoff tours the LGB airfield during taping of his KLCS show, Things Green,

Tropical plants arrive for set design during taping of Criminal Minds.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Famous Ford Tri-Motor to Offer Rides at Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport is already known for its wide variety of aircraft, but an especially unique opportunity is about to touch down that will truly stand out to any aviation buff. The famous Ford Tri-Motor, so named for its three powerful radial engines, will visit LGB and offer rides to visitors who would like to take to the skies in a flying piece of history.

The Tri-Motor will be open to visitors for four days, from Thursday, March 5 to Sunday, March 8 – between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm. Tickets for a ride-along will cost $50 for youth under 17 years old, and $70 for adults ($75 without reservation).

The visit will offer a rare chance for aviation fans to get up close and personal with a true living relic. Ford built the Tri-Motor from 1909-29 in an attempt to make it a kind of Model T for the sky. Also known as “The Tin Goose,” the Tri-Motor has a distinctive corrugated metal body and three prominent engines that help it take flight. It became one of the first aircraft with an enclosed body for both passengers and pilots.

The Tri-Motor is owned and will appear thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and it will be stationed at the Aerolease Aeroplex ramp. Parking is available in their lot at 3333 East Spring Street. To reserve a flight, call 1-877-952-5395 or visit this page. For more information about the Tri-Motor and the EAA, visit eaa7.org/ford.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Long Beach Airport Celebrates Diversity in Dr. King Parade

Philip Morisky and Carolyn Carlton Lowe enjoy the ride.
Long Beach Airport (LGB) is always eager to get out and into the community whenever possible, and recently, one of the city’s most storied and exciting traditions offered the perfect opportunity to bring LGB spirit to the people of Long Beach.

Pom-poms were a big hit with the crowd.
The city held its 27th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace and Unity Parade over the weekend, and thousands lined the streets to be part of what makes Long Beach so special: its diversity. People of all backgrounds came out to watch local leaders, marching bands, community groups and business floats of all kinds honor the legacy of Dr. King and his message.

Long Beach Airport was there too, proudly, with the popular “airplane” golf cart carrying volunteers, and a support car following behind with goodies like pom-poms and toy planes to pass out to the crowd. The airplane cart even had somewhat of a second debut, showing off a brand new nosecone with a spinning plastic propeller and realistic-looking exhaust pipes – masterfully designed and built by maintenance assistant, Harley Alcorn. With both vehicles displaying "Airport" across their sides, it sent a clear message that LGB is a proud member of the local community.

Kenyon Labostrie spreads toys along the route.
The parade route traveled north along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue for over a mile, through part of Cambodia Town and right past the iconic Long Beach Poly High football field, then across Pacific Coast Highway and into Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. Along the way, the LGB crew in both cars – themselves an extremely diverse group – handed out hundreds of toys to neighborhood children as they waved and cheered. Finally, the “airplane” touched down for the day in front of a bronze statue of Dr. King himself, that welcomed one and all to a concert and carnival that lasted into the evening.

Long Beach Airport was honored to have a presence at yet another fantastic MLK Parade, and looks forward to participating in the event for years to come.

Gloria Curry, Kim McMahon and Desiree Farr lead the way.

Carmen Rivera hands out toy planes to local children.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Long Beach Airport Resumes Operations Following Brief Airspace Lockdown

All flight activity has returned to normal following incident at nearby Long Beach City College.

The airspace surrounding Long Beach Airport has been reopened and operations have resumed, following a brief lockdown on all flight activity due to the situation at nearby Long Beach City College. All operations at Long Beach Airport have returned to normal, and flights expected to arrive and depart today remain on schedule.

The FAA issued a lockdown on all flight activity in and out of Long Beach Airport at approximately 11:19am on Thursday, January 15. The lockdown was lifted at approximately 11:57am. Two flights experienced brief delays during the lockdown, but were not canceled. Other flights may experience some delays, however no flight cancelations related to this incident have been reported.

Officers responded to Long Beach City College on Thursday morning following a report of a possible explosive device near the Liberal Arts campus. The lockdown was lifted when police determined there was no device, and cleared the scene.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mayor Highlights Long Beach Airport In Impressive Speech

In his first State of the City address, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia praised Long Beach Airport (LGB) for its award-winning service, as well as its economic impact on the surrounding community.

Click here to see his mention of Long Beach Airport on YouTube.

“Our airport provides direct employment to more than 11,000 jobs and the regional impact of that airport is more than $8 billion,” he said. “That’s our Long Beach Airport.”

Past studies have found that Long Beach Airport has an even greater effect on employment in the greater region, providing as many as 43,000 direct and indirect jobs. They also found that the more than 400 businesses located in the Long Beach Airport Area Complex offer an average salary of $78,000, which is 50 percent higher than the Los Angeles County average. To learn more about the economic impact of Long Beach Airport, visit our economic impact report, here.

Later, the mayor spoke candidly about financial issues facing Long Beach in the coming years, but also pointed to many promising opportunities, including recent development surrounding Long Beach Airport.

“We are seeing positive signs already,” he said. “The Douglas Park development by the airport is moving forward. Mercedes and Hooman Toyota are opening new facilities and more potential investors are in discussion with the City every single day. The Douglas Park project alone is adding more than 1.4 million square feet of new commercial and industrial space, which has brought more than 3,000 new jobs to our city.”

The speech brought praise from many of the guests and elected officials in the audience, including 5th District Councilmember Stacy Rose Mungo, whose district includes Long Beach Airport. Her tweets (here and here) supported the mayor and his view on the positive role that LGB plays in the community.

Congratulations to Mayor Robert Garcia on a fantastic inaugural State of the City address. Go Long Beach!