Thursday, November 15, 2012

Long Beach Airport Celebrates Veterans Day

On Saturday November 10, the Long Beach Airport (LGB) saluted military veterans in the community by walking in the 16th Annual Veterans Day Parade. 

Volunteers Cyrus McVey (left) and Bernice Vanatta (right) proudly march down Atlantic Ave

Beginning at Houghton Park, the parade marchers made their way down Atlantic Ave. greeted by the cheers of thousands of people.

                      Officers in LGB's Police Cruiser Waved and Cheered All Along the Way

Airport volunteers and staff also participated in the festival until 3 pm. Several booths lined the park. LGB's booth was dedicated to remembering Long Beach's rich military history and introducing the community to the grand opening of its new passenger concourse in December.
LGB Staff, Johnathan Wilson, passes out Long Beach Aviation Legends Long Beach Airport's Role in Previous Military Efforts

Friday, November 2, 2012

LGB Spends the Weekend With You

It was a big weekend for those of us at Long Beach Airport (LGB). Our job was to spend Sunday, October 28 with you.

Wings, Wheels and Roters

LGB participated in The Wings, Wheels and Roters Expo in Los Alamitos.  In support of the annual festival, exhibitors presented airplanes, antique cars, helicopters, safety equipment and various related products pertaining to the automobile and aviation industries. LGB's booth, complete with displays and informational materials, highlighted plans to modernize the Long Beach Airport.

Volunteer, Chris Rubacha and Public Affairs Staff, Eileen Shock welcome visitors
Enjoying a beautiful day on the last remaining military airfield in the greater Orange County Area, LGB also presented its plan to unveil a new passenger concourse in December.  The new concourse will have a partially open-roofed garden walkway and concession area that will include some of the most well known retail shops and gourmet eateries in Long Beach.

Traveling Tales, California On The Move

Kids dressed in costume visit LGB's booth
On the same day, more LGB staff members participated in the Children's Fall Harvest Festival in the Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens. The event showcased California's network of trails, roads, rails, sea routes and airways designed to keep our Golden State on the move and focused on teaching kids different modes of transportation.

Personalizing balsa wood planes
 More highlights from the Traveling Tales event included a costume parade, pony rides, a circus featuring jugglers, and a transportation forum presented by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

Lined up to race balsa wood planes and win a special LGB prize

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scores of Potential Employees Attend Job Fair

On the first day of a weeklong job fair to fill more than 100 positions in Long Beach Airport’s new passenger concourse, nearly a thousand people attended, seeking employment with the new concessionaire. Folks were dressed in their best, prepared with applications and resumes, hopeful and patient as they waited to be seen by hiring managers. During a time when people are anxious about employment, it is my honor to be able to contribute to the local workforce.
New hires will work in one of eight retail and restaurant spaces managed by The Paradies Shops. Employees and passengers alike will feel at home in the area as the new concourse is designed to reflect the unique character of Long Beach. Features include patios with shaded seating and a fireplace. Inside, travelers will sit comfortably in a sunlit boarding lounge, next to floor-to-ceiling windows, where they will be able to watch their plane approach the gate.    
The new jobs available in restaurant and retail are all due to the Airport’s successful modernization program. The concourse, set to open as early as December 2012 is months ahead of schedule. The opportunity to benefit the community by connecting people to much needed local jobs is invaluable because not only is it the right thing to do, but job creation attracts important revenue to our area. It is clear that Long Beach is better with an airport, than it is without.

It is humbling to learn that some job seekers began lining up three hours before the job fair started at 9 am. As a steady stream of people arrived at the Long Beach Airport Marriott and the hall filled with those looking for a job at LGB, it was a stark reminder of the enormous affect the Airport has on the community. Long Beach Airport Area Complex is directly responsible for supporting nearly 18,000 local jobs, or 9 percent of all jobs in Long Beach. Now, we’re adding more.

Not only have we been successful in working with our concessionaire to contract with local restaurants, but those local businesses must hire and prepare for a new beginning.  All of the employees at the Airport have a great opportunity to be a part of something exciting. Fresh paint will line the walls, passengers will be the first to test the seating, and employees will work with equipment which up to that point has never been used.
Our commitment is to increase customer service satisfaction and maximize the use of Airport resources.  The opportunity to welcome passengers in and out of Long Beach is a great responsibility. LGB has built a reputation of quality customer service and with a new concourse, will be known for comfort too. Long Beach Airport is a gateway in and out of the City and quite often we are the first introduction to the area. As a whole, those who work and serve at LGB, are committed to providing passengers with choices and information, and making the travel experience as hassle-free as possible.

(Mario Rodriguez is Director of Long Beach Airport. He has 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and has overseen airports from Kuwait to New Orleans. Questions about this column may be directed to Public Affairs at the Long Beach Airport 562-570-2678.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Antonov Arrives at LGB With Spacecraft Cargo

One of the largest cargo planes, an Antonov An-124, arrived at Long Beach Airport this week transporting a EUTELSAT-70B satellite of Eutelsat. The sattelite has been transported to the Sea Lauch "Home Port" facility in Long Beach.

The Antonov An-124 cargo plane carrying the EUTELSAT-70B spacecraft arrives under foggy conditions

Following unloading, the satellite was delivered to the clean room area of the 16-acre sites payload processing facility, where mission operations and integration efforts are now underway.

After standalone spacecraft operations are completed, the satellite will be handed over to Sea Launch's prime contractor, Energia Logistics, Ltd., to be mated with the payload support structure and integrated with the Zenit-3SL launch vehicle before departure to the launch site in November.

The launch of the EUTELSAT-70B satellite is scheduled for the early December timeframe.

The Antonov An-124 will depart LGB this Thursday at 1 pm.

Friday, October 5, 2012

LGB Working to Be Your Good Neighbor

The Long Beach Airport (LGB) was one of hundreds of participants to show their community spirit at this year's Good Neighbor Festival.  The event, created by Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, honors individuals and Long Beach businesses that make a significant impact in improving neighborhoods.

Enjoying the day at Good Neighbor Park

As an active leader in the local business community, LGB staff had a great day at Good Neighbor Park handing out aero props, pom-poms, and reusable grocery bags to smiling residents. 

We hope to see you at the next event!

LGB's booth contained displays outlining its plan to open a new passenger concourse in December.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Super Pumas Unveiled at LGB

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) Aero Bureau unveiled it's new Super Puma helicopters at Long Beach Airport this week.

AS 332L1 Super Puma

It's the LASD's latest crime-fighting and life-saving tool. The AS 332L1 Super Puma helicopters will be used for several tasks including search-and-rescue missions, SWAT insertions and extractions, homeland security support, and personnel support after natural disasters.

SH-3H Sea King
The new helicopter replaces the aging former United States Navy Sikorsky SH-3H Sea Kings currently in operation. With parts for the Sea Kings getting more expensive, maintenance for the Super Puma is expected to be easier to support. Once delivered the Super Pumas will be upgraded with external hoists, nose mounted forward-looking infrared cameras, (a first on a Department rescue helicopter), night-vision compatible cockpits, multi-patient medical interiors and various other airframe modifications specific to the Aero Bureau's requriements.

The Super Pumas which are sleeker and faster in design than the Sea Kings have the added personal touch as each of the three helicopters will be given a custom tail number to honor LASD personnel.

Ship 1. N950SG SG, Sewell Griggers, First Captain LASD Aero Bureau
Ship 2. N952JH JH, Deputy James Harrell, Emergency Services Detail Paramedic
Ship 3. N951LB LB, LA County Sheriff, Leroy Baca

Other guests to the event included:

Monday, October 1, 2012

How Do You Stay Germ-Free While Flying?

As flu season approaches, I find myself more aware of possible contagions easily spread in planes and in airports. A new study done by MIT focused on the influence of airports in the spread of viruses. The study listed the top 10 airports most likely to spread disease in the event of a public health crisis. Fortunately, Long Beach Airport (LGB) is nowhere near the top 10 listed, however battling viruses while you travel is a struggle for any person at any airport and seems almost impossible during flu season. There are some simple secrets that I’ve learned over the years that may save you a runny nose and sore throat.

10. Wash Your Hands

It seems Mom was right. Washing your hands is often the first defense between you and pesky flu germs. Fortunately, most airports have an abundance of water and soap located in the bathrooms.

9. Hand Sanitizer

While washing your hands is always good, if you can’t get to soapy warm water, hand sanitizer may be more convenient. Carry a TSA-approved 3 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer in your carry-on. Hand sanitizer is made up of 70 percent alcohol and kills most germs.

8. Bring Travel Cleaning Supplies 

Bring supplies to clean with you, such as disinfecting hand wipes. While we trust the airlines to do their best at cleaning the plane before we board, we as passengers can always lend a hand to creating our own comfort. Simply wipe down your own tray table and armrest before take-off.

7. Keep Your Socks On

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now allows children ages 12 and under to keep their shoes on during the screening process. However, if you’re over the age of 12, you’re still required to take off your shoes while passing through security. One way to avoid contracting a foot infection is to keep your socks on.

6. Wipe Off Your Cell Phone

Speaking of TSA, the same shoes that have just traipsed all over the street, bathrooms and parking garages are placed inside the same bins where you lay your cell phone. Use those handy sanitizing wipes you’ve remembered to bring and wipe off your cell phone before using it. Save yourself from directly breathing in germs.

5. Take Your Daily Dose of Vitamins

When you’re on the move it can be hard to eat your fruits and vegetables. Several doctors have advised me as a frequent flyer to boost my immune system by taking a good quality multivitamin in order to keep myself healthy. A little extra vitamin C is also helpful.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

It’s important to stay hydrated all year long, but it’s especially important when traveling. Consuming water keeps you healthy and strong, allowing you to fight off germs.

3. Bring Your Own Pillow

Skip the pillows and blankets on-board and bring your own. 

2. Get A Flu Shot

Getting a yearly flu shot gives me peace of mind, especially when I’m sitting on an airplane surrounded by coughing, sniffling and sneezing neighbors, because I know that I am protected. Getting vaccinated is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to avoid getting and spreading the flu virus.

1. Stay Stress Free: Fly LGB

Studies show that stress hampers your ability to stay healthy. Keep calm while traveling and try to avoid unnecessary stress.  LGB continues to be known as one of the most stress-free and convenient airports in the area, so LGB is better for your health!

(Mario Rodriguez is Director of Long Beach Airport. He has 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and has overseen airports from Kuwait to New Orleans. Questions about this column may be directed to Public Affairs at the Long Beach Airport 562-570-2678.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LGB: A Tool For Economic Development

Your Long Beach Airport (LGB) is committed to creating an environment that gives the local business community a chance to grow and be successful.

Long Beach Airport Area Complex

Airports have a unique distinction of being a tool for economic development. The economic importance of airports, such as LGB, has continued to grow even during the recent economic downturn as airports and airport-related industries persistently add jobs and increase revenues within communities like ours.

The web of U.S. airports includes 730 million annual travelers who will fly in the United States. That equates to twice the population of the United States or 2 million people every day. I drive to work daily knowing that a mile of road will get me a mile farther, but a mile of runway will take me anywhere in the world. The potential is limitless when there are 10,500 global destinations connected to U.S. airports.

LGB employees should be proud of the honest work that creates a comfortable and cool place for passengers to travel but I am even more proud to be a part of a team that creates jobs. Airports are economic engines that drive the U.S. economy. The combined economic impact of airport-connected activity represented 8 percent of U.S. GDP and 7 percent of overall U.S. employment according to an Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) study. By this measure, if U.S. airports were a company, they would be the second largest company in the nation after WalMart.

In total, airport employment has grown 56 percent since 2001. America’s commercial airports also contribute indirectly by attracting new businesses and helping communities retain local companies by working to provide the services that connect them to the world.

As our local cities are forced to look for ways to cut government spending, LGB continues to work without taking a single tax dollar. America’s airports, in general, are largely self-sustaining and do not drain precious local tax dollars away from other important government services. LGB in particular is a tax generator rather than a tax user, generously providing for Long Beach and surrounding communities.

Long Beach Airport generates its own revenue via ground rent, fees and other charges to businesses and airlines that operate at the Airport. Any shopowner will confess that when it comes to retail, it’s all about location. Airports are a high traffic location that allows potential consumers to pass stores as they move from gate to gate creating an ideal retail haven. The new local concessions at LGB moving in to the concourse will allow for further growth and more recognition of those businesses.

Further, we are taking the necessary steps to invest in our future. The new concourse that is being built will serve as a gateway to our city. We know that having a vibrant and efficient airport is essential when trying to attract new businesses and operations to Long Beach.

I look forward to the future at LGB and in the surrounding community. Growth is inevitable because wherever there is an airport, there is a community thriving. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Volunteers Help to Keep Airport Safe

Bird strikes are a concern at every Airport. Efforts to remove them in a safe and humane manner are proving effective at Long Beach Airport (LGB). 

With the use of traps made by local Boy Scouts, Airport Operations and the South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR) work diligently to collect, remove from the airfield, and safely release the birds at least 200 miles from the Airport.

"These traps are ideal because they can hold live birds with no threat of harm and you can leave the birds in there safely for a significant time," said Christina Jones, Assistant Director at SBWR.

Despite such measures to control the bird population at the Airport, there may never be a complete end to the problem. Fall and winter are traditionally a popular time for migrant birds to land at LGB, but in the last week Jones has been to the Airport five times to collect birds.

An adult male Cooper's Hawk sits in a trap made by the Boys Scouts

Earlier this year a bird was caught in a corporate jet. The bird strike caused thousands of dollars in damages to the plane.

Damage to the jet engine

Jones takes her job as a volunteer seriously. Her private business taking care of indoor plants pays her bills and allows her to constantly tend to the birds, some needing an hourly feeding.

"I just feel like we do such awful things to Mother Earth and it's my way of giving back," said Jones. "Through my own business I can work, then feed the rescued birds, work, then feed." Jones reminisces that she was inspired as a little girl to lend a hand. "The song 'Feed the Birds" from the film Mary Poppins made me cry as a child," she said.

The SBWR collects 1400 birds a year and is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. To find out more visit:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Helping Local Business Take-Off

What does the Long Beach Airport (LGB) mean to you?

An Airport creates jobs and income, is as a hub for freight and potential business investments, and serves as a gateway for passengers to travel around the world. Your Airport can be considered one of Long Beach’s principal resources because what the Airport does best is serve people in the community. It can be a key factor in the decision of potential businesses -- who provide valuable local employment -- to locate in an area.

At a time when jobs are first on the minds of many, an Airport is the first impression a prospective industry official has when landing in Long Beach. LGB becomes the front door to the area and the welcoming committee to the businesses Long Beach is seeking to attract.

Recently, California State Long Beach Economics Professors Joseph P Magaddino, Ph.D. and Lisa M. Grobar, Ph.D studied the economic impacts of LGB on the region. Using the data from 2011, the study found that the Long Beach Airport Area Complex houses approximately 5 percent of all Long Beach business establishments and accounts for approximately 9 percent of all jobs within the city. Over the entire region, the Airport Area Complex generates 43,000 jobs, the equivalent of more than 10 billion in valued output.

The study also stated that business in our area generate an annual payroll of $1.4 billion and total regional earnings of more than $2.6 billion. The average annual wage for the airport area is more than $78,000 -- 1.5 times as large as the median income in LA County.

The complex is 1,166 acres of private business. Four fixed-base operators and numerous aviation service companies alone are located at the airport. These firms provide fuel sales, hangars for movie production, tiedown areas, sales and service for aircraft manufacturers, flight and ground school instruction, and air taxi and charter service. Several non-aviation-related businesses are also located on airport property, including hotels, restaurants, and a golf course.

The Airport is clearly an important component of the overall vitality of the City’s economy and the future is looking even brighter. The Airport is exploring possibilities that the market will support enhanced uses of the Airport and the adjacent land within the current framework of the Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance, ensuring a quality of life and economic vitality for the citizens of Long Beach.

The notion that LGB is a convenient and efficient place to travel in turn creates an environment in which business can take off. As a citizen of this great city, I am committed to the progress and service your Airport provides. LGB has a tremendous opportunity to generate more business to help the economy not only stabilize but thrive. We want to make Long Beach and the region a healthy place for jobs and a great place to work.

Lastly, LGB is a tax generator rather than a tax user. The Airport does not receive local tax dollars toward its operation, but is financed entirely by revenues from lease, rental and user fees. In 2011, the Airport generated $32.6 million in fees and revenues. The majority of these fees were related to parking, fixed-base operators, car rentals, and landing fees.

Travel with us to get to one of our 13 destinations and take every opportunity to fly home to LGB. We always look forward to welcoming you back. Plus, we’re a friendly place, so take a tour and have lunch while watching the dedicated staff at your Airport work for you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And The Director's Award Goes To...

The recipients of the Long Beach Airport’s Directors Awards to acknowledge employees for exemplary service for the months of June and July are Phillip Charles and Officer R. Ware. An employee will be selected each month by the Director and Managers to receive recognition and be profiled in the newsletter.

LGB Employee, Phillip Charles Congratulated By Maintenance Manager, Fred Pena

Phillip Charles, Maintenance Assistant I, is a 3-year employee at the Airport and has always performed in an exemplary manner. This was evidenced very recently by not one but several letters that we received from a group of weary travelers. They stated that Phillip, "took his time to help us,” and “ went above and beyond  with excellent customer service.” They also wanted to acknowledge, “his extreme willingness and awesome customer service" and say that he was, "Just wonderful. He is doing your company a HUGE benefit with his happy attitude. These days, that is so important."

Officer R. Ware Receives the Director's Award From LGB's Chief John Blood

Officer R. Ware, Airport Special Services Officer III, is the Director’s Award recipient for July. Officer Ware has volunteered for many recent events that the Airport has participated in, such as the Christmas Parade, Pride Parade, Special Olympics Plane Pull, and he has attended numerous community events at local schools. He has also just finished the Leadership Long Beach program.

Congratulations to Phillip and Robert! Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

LGB Receives "Hal Ball Good Neigbor of the Year"

The Long Beach Airport (LGB) is honored by the local Red Cross as the 2012 Hal Ball Good Neighbor of the Year. The award is named after a volunteer who provided decades of service to the Red Cross.

Pictured from left, are: Jo Bracken, outgoing Chairmen of the Board for the Greater Long Beach Chapter; Karl Zittel, acting Superintendant of Airport Operations LGB; John Blood, Chief of Security LGB; Fred Pena, Facilities Management Officer; Margaret Arbini Madonna, Chief Executive Officer of American Red Cross Greater Long Beach and Rio Hondo Chapters.  

Officials received the award on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at the Long Beach Airport Holiday Inn during the Red Cross' Annual Volunteer Recognition Breakfast.

“We are very grateful for the relationship that we have developed with the Red Cross over the years,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “This working partnership between the Long Beach Airport and the American Red Cross is crucial in an emergency.”

"Whether it is collaborating on disaster response plans, participating in joint exercises, or responding to real-world emergencies, the Long Beach Airport has always been a ready partner. None of us like to think about disasters, but it's good to know that we can depend on each other if one occurs. We are proud to consider the Long Beach Airport one of our great friends, and a true Good Neighbor," said Margaret Arbini Madonna, Chief Executive Officer of American Red Cross Greater Long Beach and Rio Hondo Chapters.  Long Beach Airport is particularly proud of its relationship with the local Red Cross.

"The Red Cross' commitment to service for those in need in our community is outstanding. In the event of a disaster it is extremely comforting to know that they will come with aid and are always willing to lend a hand," said Airport Director Mario Rodriguez.

The award is named after Halcyon Ball, who is known by local Red Cross officials as the original "Good Neighbor." Ball owned and operated a business next door to the Long Beach Chapter of the American Red Cross and was a faithful volunteer for nearly 40 years until his passing in 2009.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It)

Every so often lady luck presents herself and we welcome her. Whether she leads us to friendly skies, a short line through security or a piece of LGB's history we are grateful. Recently, Chris Dunn, in Chandler, AZ sent the Airport some video from his family's archives. The original film was taken in 1947 by his grandfather and the two young boys appearing in some of the scenes are his father and uncle. Well, by all accounts that makes him part of LGB's family! Thank you again for being so generous and sharing this rare and precious video. We're tickled by its charm and authenticity to a great period in aviation history.

To find out more about Chris check out his website at

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's a Concert on the Roof!

For the first time ever, Long Beach Airport (LGB) lit the (parking) roof on fire with songs from the 1980's band NIGHT RANGER.

LGB and JetBlue Airways teamed up to host legendary 1980's rock band NIGHT RANGER for a free, live, acoustic performance Thursday.

A couple of hundred customers and fans lined up on the deck of the airport's parking structure for the chance to listen to the band perform their top hits including, "Sister Christian," "(You Can Still) Rock in America," and "Don't Tell Me You Love Me."

The band's mega-hit "Sister Christian" will be featured in the new musical film "Rock of Ages," starring Tom Cruise and Russel Brand.

Look for lead guitarist, Joel Hoekstra's cameo in the movie, "Rock of Ages." His smile is sure to brighten the film. Just as the fans of the band brightened LGB's parking garage dressed in their favorite 80's costumes.

 JetBlue Airways also held a contest for the best 80's costume.

These lucky girls won a picture with the band and a roundrip to anywhere JetBlue flies. The Grand prize winner won a JetBlue Getaway package which includes a roundrip ticket to any destination JetBlue flies plus hotel-stay.

95.5 KLOS was on hand to promote the band and give their support.

Thank you to NIGHT RANGER for being the first band to play at LGB! We hope that you always include us in your travel plans.

Friday, May 25, 2012

In Honor of Memorial Day

On this Federal holiday we at the Long Beach Airport (LGB) honor those members of the United States Armed Forces who have died while serving their country. Our country.

A flight of four Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at LGB Friday. Captain Jason "Jaws" Curtis from Luke Air Force Base said he wants to shed light on the sacrifices that our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors have made overseas. "Jaws" also wanted to say thank you because the pilots received a great welcome from some Long Beach fans.

The F-16s will fly over Anaheim Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

18,000 Jobs Flying At Your LGB

Your Long Beach Airport (LGB) is a small mecca that three million travelers fly through yearly. Within our teeming walls, above our skies and on our roads, 18,000 mostly private sector jobs are thriving with an average income of about $78,000.

LGB flies an economic engine worth $6.2 billion in direct economic benefit to our community. For example, the Airport supports jobs in airlines, security, construction, flight schools, retail, restaurants, manufacturers and ground transportation. The total employment represents approximately 9% of all jobs within Long Beach, generating a payroll of $1.4 billion and $5.8 billion in sales.

With a national stage, LGB will have to look good and feel like a national star. Your Airport spends $10-million annually on runway maintenance as well as maintenance of other airport structures. In addition to the ongoing $10-million dollar annual maintenance, your LGB is in the midst of a series of infrastructure improvements to the airport. An example of a great project completed is the new parking structure which was built four-months ahead of schedule and $2 million under budget. The enhancements have produced 1000 construction jobs.

All of this without receiving any tax dollars. In fact, your LGB is a self-supporting enterprise, generating revenues via user fees and creating $6 billion in direct economic benefit to our community in 2011. This analysis confirms that your Airport is one of the important hubs that drives our local economy both inside and outside the airport fence line. Your Airport is a bright spot in a time of economic uncertainty.

We also know that a key to saving money in the long run is in our green efforts. All aspects of our modernization and development have incorporated green planning, design and construction practices. Your LGB has harnessed the power of the sun with solar panels to save energy. State of the art water faucets are used to reduce water consumption and the Airport has switched all airfield lights to LED which use a lot less power. These greening acts allow us to cut emissions and save money to invest in our future and in the community.

This connection between the Airport, its staff and the community it serves – for both Long Beach and the region as a whole – has been going on for decades. Since 1923 it has been an integral partner in the development of our community. Today as your Long Beach Airport continues to evolve and modernize, we are proud of the jobs we can support today and the jobs we can be a part of in the future.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Employee Recognition

Long Beach Airport is initiating an Employee Recognition Program to acknowledge employees for exemplary service. Each month, one employee will be selected by managers and supervisors to receive recognition and be profiled in the newsletter.

Margarita Wantz, Maintenance Assistant III, was recently highlighted in the City's safety newsletter, Safety Simply Stated.

Margarita Wantz receives her award from managers Carolyn Carlton-Lowe, Mario Rodriguez and Fred Pena 

Wantz was recognized for using proper safety equipment and employing correct safety warnings while vacuuming rainwater in the walkways. The article stated in part, "Margarita is using the floor scrubber around the terminal area to pick up the excess water that presents a slip hazard to the public and our employees. Margarita was in full compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment Policy as she was wearing safety shoes, gloves, high visible vest, and used warning signs and cones to mark off the work area for additional protection."

Merced Alatorre, Maintenance Assistant III, was recognized by a customer who recently traveled from LGB to Portland.

Merced Alatorre receives Congratulations from Airport Director, Mario Rodriguez

The customer's e-mail to us stated, "Every employee at the airport was remarkably courteous and friendly. In particular there was a maintenance employee cleaning the stairs that lead to the airport bar/lounge. He was on his hands and knees with a toothbrush removing god-knows-what from the steps. He was really being thorough. When I came back down the steps they looked spotless. I think people in those positions of employment rarely get the commendation they deserve, hence this email. Please let him know that all he does to maintain that airport is greatly appreciated."

Congratulations and well done, Margarita and Merced! Keep up the good work!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Mock Disaster Tests LGB, And We Are Ready

Your Long Beach Airport (LGB) is committed to providing excellent services and facilities in an intelligent, eco-friendly, efficient manner, respectful of our employees and the community that we serve. Our biggest commitment is the commitment to keep everyone safe.

On April 20, 2012, Long Beach Airport tested our ability to respond to a major incident. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a full on-site exercise at airports every three years to test emergency plans and procedures, communications frameworks and the coordination abilities of the responding agencies.

Evaluators look on, inspecting us closely.

Conducting a large-scale emergency response drill is a FAA requirement as a part of maintaining the airport’s operation certificate and demonstration compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The drill involved a simulated aircraft accident to test the response procedures and equipment readiness of fire rescue units and other emergency personnel that would respond to an actual incident.

Long Beach Police and an Airport Safety Officer take names of volunteer wounded in the incident.

This type of exercise involves a myriad of agencies, including: Long Beach Fire, Police and Public Works Departments, Greater Long Beach Chapter of the American Red Cross, Long Beach Search and Rescue, Los Angeles County Coroner, Los Angeles County Fire, Los Angeles Sheriffs Department Aero Bureau, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Bowers Ambulance, California Air National Guard, Transportation Security Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Bureau of Investigation, JetBlue Airways, US Airways, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Boeing, FAA, Gulfstream, and UPS.

Volunteers inside the C-130, moulaged with mock injuries to simulate a disaster with mass casualties.

We would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers from across Long Beach that took part in the exercise this year. St. Mary Medical Center representatives were instrumental in helping to coordinate volunteers for this large-scale disaster event. Many local college nursing students, aviation students and others were recruited to play the role of victims needing attention at the scene, and also acted as family members being reunited with loved ones.

California State University Long Beach Journalism students portrayed the press and questioned airport officials about the mock incident. More volunteers from the community, LGB Ambassadors and guests all came out to lend their support to the drill effort. Together, their participation provided a sense of authenticity to the exercise, and we sincerely appreciate their contribution.

Airport Director, Mario Rodriguez, interviewed by local news affilliate KABC-TV

Emergency preparedness is our biggest priority and your airport constantly trains to be ready for any event. Simply put, we can never be too prepared and LGB will always keep training to give you a safer flying experience as we continue to look forward to an accident-free future.

Photos by Spencer K. Pena

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Power of a Volunteer

A passion to be truly connected to the world is what fuels my love for aviation. I see the same passion for aviation in the volunteers that put their time and effort into working at your Long Beach Airport (LGB). LGB has had a volunteer program for more than 30 years. Our Ambassadors assist travelers with many different kinds of problems ranging from lost children and wallets, to locating airlines and other airport services. Our Tour Guides aid in educating the public including grade school kids, about airport operations, our specialized Fire Department, and LGB’s rich history. Meanwhile, our Archivists work diligently at preserving and collecting memorabilia from our past. These are only a few of the honorable services that our volunteers have committed to during their time here. Currently more than 20 volunteers regularly work at the airport serving our customers. Training is provided on-the-job by an experienced volunteer. Trainees find that there are many questions they can answer for customers almost immediately. It takes a few weeks to master all the information and, after the training is complete, there is always new information to add. Like most working and moving airports, there are constant changes at LGB keeping the volunteer experience always exciting. Our group of volunteers are vibrant professionals who provide a great support network to your airport.

Volunteering at LGB is a very rewarding experience. Every day presents the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds, as well as other volunteers. Many of the volunteers have been with the airport for more than 10 years. The ages of our volunteers range from 30 to 90 bringing a variety of experiences to our team.

Jane Kelly has been volunteering with LGB for twelve years. She started out with the airport as a Tour Guide and later turned to the Ambassador position.

“I really like being outside and being with people,” said Kelly. “You can make anybody happy with a smile.”

Always bright and cheerful, Kelly is a great example of the type of person who volunteers at LGB. We are very thankful to have such dedicated and enthusiastic individuals representing the airport.

Kelly’s reward for volunteering is one shared by others. Philanthropist, Gayla LeMaire elaborates, “Volunteers are paid in six figures… S-M-I-L-E-S.”

The Tour Guides, Ambassadors and Archivists have been an important face of the city of Long Beach, helping to build a bridge between Airport Staff and the community we serve. Each volunteer works tremendously hard to make travelers and guests to LGB feel welcome and for that I am deeply grateful.

Parking is provided for, and all volunteers must pass a background check. Volunteers who speak a second or third language are highly sought after as the program also provides assistance to greet and direct travelers at the Airport.

Do you like to people watch? Do like history, aviation, and to help people? If you are interested in serving the airport we are accepting applications through the Public Affairs Office or check out our website at for more information.

(Mario Rodriguez is Director of Long Beach Airport. He has 25 years of experience in the aviation industry and has overseen airports from Kuwait to New Orleans. Questions about this column may be directed to Public Affairs at the Long Beach Airport 562-570-2678.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dreamliner 787 Touches Down at LGB

Long Beach Airport is one of the many stops in March during Boeing's "787 Dream Tour" - a global expedition to show off its next-generation commercial aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner.

The 787 touched down quietly at 10 this morning. But the action starts tomorrow when Boeing partners and the media are invited to view the 787 up close. The jet holds up to 250 passengers and has a flight range of up to 8,200 nautical miles. Passengers can expect larger windows, six-stage atmospheric lighting, larger bins for luggage storage and more sophisticated air filtration.

After Long Beach, the jet will visit Salt Lake City befire heading to South America.