Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Airport Operations Keeps LGB Safe

Keeping the airfield safe is a tough job, but LGB's Airport Operations staff keeps the airport running smoothly. Ops personnel are responsible for making sure airport facilities and runways are compliant with Federal Aviation Adminstration (FAA) regulations, and for ensuring the safe operation of aircraft, personnel and vehicles within the airport.

Ops conducts daily morning and evening runway and taxiway light inspections, wildlife hazard detection and dispersal, and various mandatory FAA inspections of facilities and runway surfaces in order to safeguard the integrity of the airfield. Staff receive specialized training to identify unsafe or impending problems in the pavement, and must have a detailed understanding of air navigation and communication procedures to quickly and accurately communicate with Air Traffic Control. Ops personnel are required to possess a unique set of skills and abilities. One of their most important functions is to provide a quick response to pilots and tenants with special needs, such as in emergency situations. In such situations, they are responsible for assisting in the removal of disabled aircraft.

For the past six years, Airport Operations duties at LGB have also included an almost constant stream of construction projects. With the building of the new parking lot and passenger concourse, and improvements to the airfield and terminal building, they have had to be on call to escort contractors and construction personnel, and supervise them to make sure they remain in compliance with the Department of Homeland Security and federal aviations regulations.

Airport Operations also get the opportunity to work on the occasional special project. They have coordinated the planning for Air Force One and related support equipment, such as helicopters and the motorcade, when President Obama landed here in 2009; the Antonov 124 that arrives every year with special cargo deliveries for the Sea Launch satellite launching platform; and AOPA events including Airportfest's aircraft display and parking for hundreds of visiting aircraft.

Airport Operations staff are a crucial part of any successful airport, and LGB's are the best around!