Thursday, March 1, 2012

LGB A Cog In This Working Community

by Mario Rodriguez                              

If you live or work in Long Beach, chances are you are very familiar with your airport. You have witnessed planes flying in and out and you probably know someone who works here. You have traveled through it and you are aware that your airport is one of the most stress-free and convenient airports in the nation. But did you know your airport plays a vital part  in this eclectic community’s economy and how its connected to other communities.  In general, airports are uniquely positioned to do something that no other transportation system does which is to connect local residents and local businesses to the rest of the world. Therefore, we as a community are also connected.

A vibrant and efficient airport is essential when trying to attract new business, conventions, and tourists to the community thereby, creating jobs and industry. Your Long Beach Airport drives an economic engine worth $4 billion dollars and 16,000 direct and indirect jobs. Commercial airports in the United States generate billions of dollars in economic activity and support millions of stable, good-paying jobs while moving 1.5 billion passengers per year. This is all accomplished without taxpayer funding.

In a time when communities are challenged to do more with less, your Long Beach Airport is forging ahead to do everything possible to provide the highest level of service and value to our residents and businesses. If I were to sum up the rest of the message right now, I would say that the state of the Long Beach Airport is quite sound. As such, all revenue is maintained to support the airport making customer service, safety and efficiency our highest priority. All of this, and still LGB is able to maintain the second lowest airfare in the country. What a deal!

The city of Long Beach has a well established service and manufacturing sector. With so much emphasis being placed on just-in-time manufacturing and deliveries and some professionals needing to jump on planes almost daily, airports such as LGB are crucial to helping local businesses do business. A successful airport with flights for both passenger and cargo is needed for this region to remain economically strong. And, if the region is strong, then Long Beach’s local economy will remain strong. In fact, many new businesses that are establishing a presence in the area have chosen Long Beach for its excellent demographics and transportation network.

Our efforts are only one piece of a healthy environment. It also takes you – the private citizen and business. We appreciate your part in helping us to navigate our modernization project with your feedback and also your excitement at the new possibilities. As your airport, we will continue to move forward toward a collaborative future. We will continue to be strong and financially secure. And we will continue to be one of the most convenient and accessible airports in Southern California. All of you, the residents and business owners of Long Beach, have played a key role your airport’s success and continue to be our priority.

(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.)

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