Long Beach Airport
|Long Beach Airport|
|USGS aerial image, March 2004|
|IATA: LGB – ICAO: KLGB – FAA LID: LGB|
|Owner||City of Long Beach|
|Serves||Los Angeles and Orange counties|
|Location||Long Beach, California|
|Focus city for||JetBlue Airways|
|Elevation AMSL||60 ft / 18 m|
|Aircraft operations (FAA)||271,771|
|Based aircraft (FAA)||736|
|Sources: FAA and ACI|
Long Beach Airport (IATA: LGB, ICAO: KLGB, FAA LID: LGB) is a city-owned public airport three miles northeast of downtown City of Long Beach, in Los Angeles County, California. It was formerly called Daugherty Field.
This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport. Federal Aviation Administration records say the airport had 1,413,251 passenger boardings in calendar year 2008, 1,401,903 in 2009 and 1,451,404 in 2010.
Long Beach Airport has few passenger flights compared with Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 18 miles (29 km) to the northwest, and will always be a small airport because of ordinances adopted to minimize noise. The airport is under one of the strictest ordinances in the United States on airport noise and the number of airline flights. Rules now allow 41 daily commercial flights and 25 commuter flights. Community groups and activists are vocal about any changes at the airport.
The arrival of low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways at Long Beach Airport in 2001, and that airline's decision to establish a West Coast hub at LGB, has increased air traffic and has cemented LGB's standing as an alternative to LAX for flights to the East Coast. JetBlue used the noise ordinance to make Long Beach Airport a miniature fortress hub,but it quickly reached capacity and has since had to rework flight schedules and direct growth to other Los Angeles area airports. JetBlue calls LGB a Focus city and now uses 31 of the 41 slots.
The Boeing Company (formerly McDonnell Douglas) maintains production of the C-17 military transport jet; maintenance facilities for other Boeing and McDonnell Douglas/Douglas aircraft (including the historic DC-9 and DC-10 aircraft) are also at Long Beach. Gulfstream Aerospace has a completion/service center.
Commercial flights are restricted, but there are still many charters, private aviation, flight schools, law enforcement flights, helicopters, advertising blimps, planes towing advertising banners, etc. Long Beach airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, with 398,433 aircraft movements in 2007.
Long Beach Airport has one terminal in Streamline Moderne style that is a historical landmark and was renovated in early 2013.
Long Beach Transit Routes 111, 104, 102, and 176 serve the airport. Wardlow Road runs from the airport to the Los Angeles County/Orange County border, where it becomes Ball Road and crosses the north edge of the Disneyland Resort.
In 2009 Mario Rodriguez was appointed director. Having previously led Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Palm Beach International Airport, he was appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of Airports Council International-North America.
The first transcontinental flight, a biplane flown by Calbraith Perry Rodgers, landed in 1911 on Long Beach's sandy beach. From 1911 until the airport was created, planes used the beach as a runway.
The famous barnstormer Earl S. Daugherty had leased the area that later became the airport for air shows, stunt flying, wing walking and passenger rides. Later, he started the world's first flight school in 1919 at the same location. In 1923 Daugherty convinced the city council to use the site to create the first municipal airport.
Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan used to regularly fly out of Daugherty Field. Before his infamous flight from Brooklyn, New York to Ireland in 1938, he had flown from Long Beach to New York. He was supposed to be returning to Daugherty Field after authorities had refused his request to fly on to Ireland, but because of a claimed navigational error, he ended up in Ireland. He never publicly acknowledged having flown to Ireland intentionally.
During the 1940s and 1950s the only airline nonstops were to Los Angeles, San Diego, and sometimes Catalina Island; in 1962 Western Airlines started one Lockheed Electra a day to San Francisco. Jets arrived in 1968; in 1969 Western had nonstop 737s to Las Vegas, Oakland and San Francisco, but in 1980 the only jet non-stops (on Pacific Southwest Airlines by then) were to SFO.
In 1981 the startup airline Jet America started nonstop MD-80 flights to Chicago and, in 1982, to Dallas-Fort Worth. In 1982 Alaska Airlines started nonstops to Portland and Seattle; in 1983 American started ORD and DFW and United started Denver. In 1984 United had two daily 767s to Denver, the largest passenger airliners ever scheduled out of Long Beach.
To attract the United States Navy, the City of Long Beach built a hangar and an administrative building and then offered to lease it to the Navy for $1 a year for the establishment of the Naval Reserve Air Base. On May 10, 1928, the U.S. Navy commissioned the field as a Naval Reserve Air Base (NRAB Long Beach). Two years later the city built a hangar and administrative building for the United States Army Air Corps as well. Significant developments to the little city airport began only after the city built hangars and administrative facilities for the Army and Navy in 1928-30.
As a Naval Reserve Air Base, the mission was to instruct, train and drill Naval Reserve aviation personnel. A ground school was offered three nights a week at the base and two nights a week at the University of California in Los Angeles until 1930, when ground school was continuously offered at the base. On April 9, 1939, training in night flight began, and shortly thereafter its facilities began to be used by fleet aircraft as well.
With increased activity by commercial airlines and the private airplane industry, particularly with Douglas Aircraft showing an interest in the Long Beach Municipal Airport, the facility needed more space. With Douglas Aircraft as a resident, the attitude of Long Beach's authorities became openly hostile to naval aviation, with its city manager saying that "the sooner the Navy gets out of the Long Beach airport, the better we will like it."
So the Navy had begun a survey for another site — unknown to city officials at the time. Admiral Ernest J. King, then the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, and Admirals William D. Leahy, Joseph K. Taussig, and Allen E. Smith pointedly requested that the city of Long Beach repair the runways and reminded the city that the Pacific Fleet, then laying offshore in Long Beach and San Pedro harbors, had a payroll of more than $1 million a month. Eventually the city complied with the Navy's requests.
The city continued to show a hostile attitude toward approving a lease on any additional land that the Naval Reserve now required.
The Navy there upon, fed up with the city of Long Beach, decided upon the purchase of some property owned by a Mrs. Susanna Bixby Bryant, a fact made known by the commander of the base, Commander Thomas A. Gray, to the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Admiral John H. Towers. The circumstances behind the purchase were revealed to James V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy, and by him to the House Naval Affairs committee who approved the purchase. Although Comdr. Gray had offered Mrs. Bryant $350 an acre, in the best patriotic spirit she sold the property at $300 an acre.
With the site acquired, in 1941, construction funds soon followed and NAS Los Alamitos began to take shape. Upon the transfer of the Naval Reserve Training Facility to Los Alamitos, to the surprise of city officials of Long Beach, in 1942, instead of returning the Naval Reserve Air Base facilities at Long Beach to the city, the Navy turned over the facilities to the United States Army Air Forces, which had established a training base next to it. NARB Long Beach was not totally abandoned but became a Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS).
The 1940s was a busy time. Through World War II the airfield was given over to the war effort. In August, 1941, the Civil Aeronautics Administration took over control of the airport, which had increased to 500 acres (2.0 km2). Once Los Alamitos became an operational base in 1941, NAAS Long Beach now turned to servicing carrier borne F4Fs, SBDs, FM-2s, F4Us, F6Fs, TBF/TBMs, and SB2Cs. In addition, it had utility aircraft and such patrol planes as the PBY, SNB, GB3, NH, GH, and SNJ.
As the Navy's activities began to be shifted to Los Alamitos the Long Beach Army Airfield at Long Beach became the home of the Army's Air Transport Command's Ferrying Division, which included a squadron of 18 women pilots commanded by Barbara London, a long time Long Beach aviatrix.
Like the Naval Air Ferry Command at NAS Terminal Island, the Army's ferrying work was an immense undertaking, thanks to Douglas Aircraft's wartime production. Ground was broken for the initial Douglas Aircraft facility in November 1940, with dedication in October 1941. Douglas had been drawn to Long Beach's growing municipal airport with its Army and Navy facilities. With wartime contracts the company went into intensive production. The company's first C-47 was delivered 16 days after the attack of Pearl Harbor and another 4,238 were produced during the war. The plant turned out some 1,000 A-20 Havocs, not to mention 3,000 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 1,156 A-26 Invaders.
With the end of the war the U.S. Navy abandoned any use of Long Beach Municipal Airport and with it the designation of Long Beach as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station.
Facilities and aircraft
- 12/30 is 10,000 by 200 feet (3,048 x 61 m)
- 7L/25R is 6,192 by 150 feet (1,887 x 46 m)
- 7R/25L is 5,423 by 150 feet (1,653 x 46 m)
- 16L/34R is 3,975 by 75 feet (1,212 x 23 m)
- 16R/34L is 4,470 by 75 feet (1,362 x 23 m)
In the year ending December 1, 2010 the airport had 329,808 aircraft operations, an average of 903 per day: 87% general aviation, 10% scheduled commercial, 3% air taxi, and <1% military. At that time there were 435 aircraft based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, 11% jet, and 10% helicopter.
Airlines and destinations
The gates at Long Beach Airport are divided into the North and South Concourse, with fourteen gates in all. JetBlue Airways is the sole occupant of the North Concourse, the larger of the two. Gates 1-4 are in the South Concourse and gates 5-11 in the North.
operated by SkyWest Airlines
|Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma||South|
operated by SkyWest Airlines
|Salt Lake City||South|
|JetBlue Airways||Austin, Boston, Las Vegas, New York-JFK, Oakland, Portland (OR), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington-Dulles
|US Airways Express
operated by Mesa Airlines
|US Airways Express
operated by SkyWest Airlines
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|Delta Air Lines||
|1||Las Vegas, Nevada||193,000||JetBlue|
|2||Seattle, Washington||184,000||Alaska, JetBlue|
|3||Salt Lake City, Utah||182,000||Delta, JetBlue|
|5||San Francisco, California||135,000||JetBlue|
|6||Portland, Oregon||131,000||Alaska, JetBlue|
|7||Phoenix, Arizona||121,000||US Airways|
|8||New York, New York||89,000||JetBlue|
Airport Improvements Program
On December 12, 2012, the Long Beach Airport completed a $136 million improvement project designed to modernize the main terminal without sacrificing its historic Art Deco architecture or reputation among travelers for convenience. It was developed to improve the customer experience by providing resort-like amenities, having a central palm garden, outdoor dining areas with fire pits, wine bars, and 11 gates.
A new 2,000-space parking structure was completed ahead of schedule and below budget. In addition, $5 million was spent to refurbish the old terminal, which was originally built in 1941 and declared a historic landmark by the city decades later.
The new terminal retains the open-air feeling of the current terminal complex, and passengers still walk across the tarmac when boarding or leaving their planes. The baggage claim also is partially enclosed, as it was before.
Accidents and incidents
- On March 16, 2011, a privately owned Beechcraft King Air crashed shortly after takeoff, killing five people and injuring another. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.
- "FAA Airport Master Record for LGB ( PDF)". Federal Aviation Administration. May 2012.
- "2010 North American final rankings". Airports Council International - North America. 2010.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2010.
- "Enplanements for CY 2008" (PDF, 1.0 MB). CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 18 December 2009.
- "Enplanements for CY 2010" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2011.
- "Traffic Movements 2007 PRELIMINARY". Airports Council International. 2007.
- "LB's Airport Director Appointed to Powerful Board". Press-Telegram (Long Beach). October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "American Airlines to end service from Long Beach Airport". North County Times. Associated Press. December 18, 2005. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Long Beach, CA: Long Beach Airport (LGB)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. February 2014.
- Meeks, Karen Robes. "Long Beach Airport unveils resortlike concourse, terminals". Long Beach Press-Telegram. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- Weikel, Dan (May 4, 2010). "Long Beach Airport Moves Ahead With Improvement Project". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
- "Cause Of Long Beach, Calif. Plane Crash Probed". NPR. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Long Beach Airport, official web site
- Historic California Posts: Long Beach Army Air Field
- Aerial image as of 29 March 2004 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective March 6, 2014
- FAA Terminal Procedures for LGB, effective March 6, 2014
- Resources for this airport: