Tuesday, May 26, 2015

F/A-18 Pilot Meet & Greet Draws Hundreds to LGB

A very special holiday treat rolled into Long Beach Airport, as hundreds of people gathered for an up-close look at the flock of U.S. Marines F/A-18 aircraft stationed here over the Memorial Day weekend.

The event was hosted on the ramp at Signature Flight Support LGB, which provides space and services to the military during their time here. Those in attendance could walk right up to the jets as they rested between training exercises, and even had an opportunity to speak with the pilots. Airport personnel estimate that nearly 500 people of all ages came to the meet and greet.

Training exercises began last Thursday, lasted through the weekend and will wrap up today. Thankfully, the Marines were able to carve out a few hours of time to welcome the community on Saturday afternoon, and even with short notice the response was fantastic. There could be no better way to show appreciation for our servicemen and women this Memorial Day.

Special thanks to Signature for graciously hosting the event, the Marines for taking the time out of their busy schedules, and the community for making it all possible. Until next time!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Long Beach Airport to Host F/A-18 Military Jets Over Holiday Weekend

This upcoming Memorial Day weekend will feature some familiar sights and sounds of the United States military, thanks to the arrival of several U.S. Marine Corps jets that will conduct operations from Long Beach Airport (LGB) over several days.

Between four and six F/A-18 aircraft will fly into LGB on Thursday morning, and stay in town until Tuesday morning. The aircraft will depart each morning between 9:00-10:00am, and return in the late afternoon. One of the most widely used U.S. aircraft in combat situations, the F/A-18 Hornet is a crowd-pleaser. Its arrival at LGB is often met with crowds of aviation fans and "spotters" who line nearby parking lots for a close look.

The Marine Corps has consistently demonstrated a desire to assist Long Beach Airport in being a good neighbor, and voluntarily suggested that they limit the number of arrivals and departures to/from LGB. Daily training and refueling operations will be conducted at remote airfields.

F/A-18 aircraft are noticeably louder than other aircraft and are easily heard in neighborhoods near Long Beach Airport. The aircraft will utilize noise abatement procedures when operating in the vicinity of Long Beach. These procedures include modified arrival and departure flight profiles and minimum use of afterburners.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Long Beach Airport Flies Into 2015 Pride Parade

More than fifty people joined the Long Beach Airport (LGB) delegation at the 2015 Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade over the weekend, to celebrate with tens of thousands of people lining Ocean Blvd. for miles along the scenic coast.

Airport employees, and their friends and families, climbed onto a balloon-filled float or airplane-themed golf cart, or simply walked along the route, waving and reveling with the electric crowd. Every participant sported a powder blue t-shirt with the LGB logo on the front, and this year’s Pride slogan – “Color Our World With Pride” – emblazoned across the back. They also passed out LGB pom-poms as people danced in the streets, waved from balconies and partied on rooftops.

This was also the first Pride Parade attended by Airport Director Bryant L. Francis, C.M., after he arrived at the helm in January, and he reported that he had a great time. Special thanks goes also to our dedicated team of volunteers, who made our participation possible. LGB would also like to thank the No Toro food truck team for joining us.

See you at Pride 2016!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Restoration Work Begins On Historic Tile Mosaics at LGB

Made up of over 2.6 million tiles, the award-winning floor mosaics in the Long Beach Airport historic terminal have welcomed passengers for more than seven decades, and today, engineers are carefully hand-laying replacement tiles to renovate damaged areas.

Because the Long Beach Airport historic terminal has been deemed a Cultural Heritage Landmark, any proposed renovations must pass stringent requirements before work can begin. In preparation for this arduous project, Long Beach Airport consulted with the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission to establish a protocol for restoration. Because the original tiles are now exceedingly rare, our engineers spent six months consulting with art preservationists. Over 23 different colors were used in the original work, and experts worked diligently to match the rare tiles as closely as possible.

The restoration is an intricate process. Workers begin by cleaning the ceramic tiles to prepare the work area, and then use hand tools to remove the existing grout, while taking care not to damage adjacent tiles. The damaged tiles can then be removed, and replaced by newer tiles. In some work spaces, tiles will be meticulously cut, and the new tiles will be handset, piece by piece.

With over seven decades of wear-and-tear, the mosaics have endured the weight of tens of millions of travelers. Since the 2012 removal of carpet in the terminal, another three million passengers annually have crossed through Long Beach Airport’s historic terminal.

After all the foot traffic—and rolling bags—over the tiles, the restoration will refresh the decorative mosaic floor. During this time, some areas will be cordoned off to allow the new tiles to set.

Finished in 1941 by California artist Grace Clements, the mosaics belong to a rich fabric of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal history. To help support struggling artists in the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration hired artists like Clements, and architects W. Horace Austin and Kenneth Wing, Sr. as a part of the United States Government’s Federal Art Project.

The mosaics highlight the economic drivers of Long Beach in the 1940s—aviation, oil, and communications—that awoke a sleepy beach town and birthed a thriving urban waterfront. The pieces—on the first and second floor of the main terminal—celebrate classic Streamline Moderne design and emphasize the nation’s industrial resources as the country emerged from the Great Depression and prepared to enter World War II.

The mosaics continue to reflect the importance of industry to Long Beach’s success.