Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Huge Turnout "Runs The Runway" To Reopen 7L-25R at Long Beach Airport

It had been 22 years since the public was invited onto a runway at Long Beach Airport, and they certainly made the most of the opportunity. On Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,400 people attended a “Run The Runway” event at LGB to welcome the reopening of Runway 7L-25R and participate in a one-mile fun run.

Some participants ran like the wind and completed the mile in just around six minutes. Most people, however, took their time and enjoyed the sights and sounds of being on a runway while flights continued to operate around other areas of the airport. After all, there was a lot to see. Long Beach Fire Department Station 16 brought their emergency truck, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department brought a helicopter, Catalina Flying Boats brought their historic DC-3 and several small general aviation aircraft were also on display. If there was ever an event to inspire a future generation of pilots, it was Run the Runway at LGB.

Local elected officials also turned out to celebrate the event. Long Beach City Councilmembers included Al Austin, Roberto Uranga and Stacy Mungo. Lakewood Mayor Jeff Wood also attended, and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia cut the ribbon to officially mark the opening of 25R. The most coveted job of all, though, went to Long Beach Airport Director Bryant L. Francis, who waved a giant orange-checkered flag to mark the official start of the fun run.

If that wasn’t enough, local favorites MOVE brought the jams with performances before and after the run. Meanwhile, the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream truck offered delicious artisan treats. It was truly an all-encompassing event, made even better thanks to the enormous crowd and their excitement and enthusiasm.

Runway 7L-25R will officially open for aviation activity on April 17 as the secondary runway for commercial flights, and will handle a large portion of our general aviation activity.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Long Beach Airport Set to Star on Small Screen

Long Beach Airport Director Bryant L. Francis and Mayor Robert Garcia discuss a commitment to sustainability with Things Green host Nick Federoff.

Film crews and television stars are familiar sights in Long Beach, and recently, the airport itself has had plenty of chances for a starring role. Two different programs have visited in the last few weeks, and before long you may be able to spot LGB from the comfort of your living room couch.

Set design for Criminal Minds taping.
The first to visit was Criminal Minds, the popular CBS thriller about staying one step ahead of the bad guys. The producers needed a scene set in an airport, with very specific requests. So set designers actually transformed the baggage claim area outside of the main terminal, from Long Beach Airport to another country entirely. Passengers that were arriving and departing may have been a little confused to see signs that said “Welcome to Barbados” and “Bridgetown International Airport” hanging all around. Several enormous plants and trees were brought in for a more tropical feel. Cast members like Shemar Moore were very gracious and posed for several pictures with fans. The episode is expected to air later this year.

Only a week later, Long Beach Airport welcomed another film crew for an entirely different kind of shoot. This time, PBS visited in order to film an episode of the new show Things Green With Nick Federoff, set to launch its first season in late summer. Federoff has hosted radio shows for decades that focus on gardening and green living, so LGB was thrilled to show him a wide variety of environmentally friendly aspects of the airport. He toured the concourse, main terminal and even the airfield itself to get a glimpse of how beauty and sustainability come together to create a truly unique flying experience. We also welcomed the Long Beach Press-Telegram, who published an article about the filming, which you can read here. Federoff even spoke with Airport Director Bryant L. Francis and Mayor Robert Garcia, and we can’t wait to see them all when the episode premieres on August 22, at 9:00am on KLCS.

Nick Federoff tours the LGB airfield during taping of his KLCS show, Things Green,

Tropical plants arrive for set design during taping of Criminal Minds.