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.)