April 22, 2013
By Jim Moore
Long Beach Airport, owned and operated by the city of Long Beach, Calif., has five runways (each of them bidirectional), a host of flight schools and FBOs, and more than 250,000 operations a year including general aviation and commercial flights. All that activity on a layout that includes six runway intersections and a complex network of taxiways has propelled Long Beach near the top of the FAA list of airports with the highest number of incursions and surface incidents in the country—involving a mix of commercial, general aviation, and corporate flights. The FAA airport diagram details seven “hot spots” on the field, areas where complex intersections have repeatedly led to trouble even for airline operators.
With a $136 million terminal overhaul (including preservation of the historic original) now complete, attention is being focused on improving the movement areas in a cost-effective manner, making use of existing runways and taxiways where possible. Consultants hired by the city have developed four design options to mitigate the current safety issues, and the city has made a concerted and consistent effort to include operators—including local FBOs and flight schools, airlines, and AOPA—in the decision-making process. AOPA Vice President of Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn was invited to attend a recent meeting organized by the airport staff and consultants to brief the association on progress to date, and the options under consideration.
One of the four main alternative designs—each involving the consolidation of existing runways and taxiways or other strategies to reduce the number and complexity of intersections—will be chosen in the coming months.
Dunn told the airport and consultant that while AOPA understands that safety is the driving force in this long-term project, the association seeks assurance that the final design will not negatively impact its constituents’ ability to operate at Long Beach Airport.
“Generally speaking, closing runways simply isn’t in AOPA’s DNA,” Dunn said.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Cost to Operate,
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
Do you operate at airports or heliports that have LED systems? If so, AOPA, the FAA, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, and multiple professional pilot organizations want to hear from you.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied the most recent petition from environmental groups that asked the agency to reconsider a 2012 decision not to immediately pursue an endangerment finding for leaded avgas.
VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN NEAR YOU!
SHARE YOUR PASSION. VOLUNTEER AT AN AOPA FLY-IN. CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
VOLUNTEER LOCALLY AT AOPA FLY-IN! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>
BE A PART OF THE FLY-IN VOLUNTEER CREW! CLICK TO LEARN MORE >>>