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.