After 66 years, Long Beach Airport (LGB) has redesignated two runways for the first time. The runways were redesignated to account for natural shifts in the earth’s magnetic field. Runway 7R-25L is now 8R-26L, and Runway 7L-25R is now 8L-26R. Runway numbers are based on magnetic headings, for example, the runways are known as 8-26 because they face 80 degrees on a compass in one direction and 260 degrees in the opposite direction. Since these are parallel runways at Long Beach Airport, they are marked appropriately as Left and Right. Pilots and air traffic controllers rely on navigational aids and flight procedures that are based on magnetic headings to find their takeoff and landing runways.
While the runways were closed, the crews at LGB worked for five consecutive nights in order to update pavement markings and electrical signage to reflect the new runway designations. Both of the runway names were changed on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 12.00 am. Although the runways have been redesignated, Runway 8R-26L remains closed for reconstruction to improve pilot safety and pavement conditions.Thanks to the airport operations and engineering teams, construction partners, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for helping with this momentous occasion.