Special arrival procedures will be in place for the more than 2,000 aircraft expected to fly to Long Beach Airport/Daugherty Field (LGB) for AOPA Expo 2000. Both VFR arrival procedures and IFR slot reservations will be in effect from October 19 to 22.
"The Los Angeles Basin has some of the most complicated airspace in the world," said Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of aviation services. "For safety, pilots must be absolutely certain they understand and follow the AOPA Expo arrival procedures."
AOPA, working with the FAA, has developed six VFR arrival routes to ease the transition through high-density traffic areas surrounding LGB. The routes are defined using GPS VFR waypoints listed on the Los Angeles Terminal Area Chart. These waypoints are identified on the chart (and in many GPS databases) with a five-letter code beginning with "VP." The waypoints coincide with visual reporting points on the Los Angeles chart.
All arrival routes lead to one of four designated holding/reporting points surrounding LGB. Pilots may not proceed past those holding points until they receive clearance from Long Beach Tower.
"Five of the routes can be flown without talking to SoCal Approach Control," said Cahall, "and all are easy to follow if you've reviewed the procedures."
It is absolutely critical to have current copies of the Los Angeles Terminal Area Chart and the AOPA Expo 2000 arrival procedures on board the aircraft. (Arrival procedures are available online, by calling 800/USA-AOPA, or through the FAA notam.)
For aircraft arriving from the northwest, VFR arrival routes begin at Santa Susanna Pass (VPLSS) or Thousand Oaks water tank (VPLWT). An alternate arrival route is the Hollywood Park Route through Los Angeles Class B airspace, which requires a clearance from SoCal Approach on 134.9 MHz prior to entering.
Arrivals from the north/northeast begin at Magic Mountain (VPLMM), while northeast arrivals begin at Cajon Pass (VPLCP).
Aircraft arriving from the east will start their route at Banning Pass (VPLBP). Southeast arrivals begin at Dana Point (VPLDP).
Some VFR arrival routes have special transponder codes to squawk. "This is all the more reason to obtain and study arrival procedures and not try to 'wing it,'" said Cahall.
IFR arrivals will encounter delays and will require a Special Traffic Management Program (STMP) arrival slot reservation. An IFR slot may be obtained up to 48 hours in advance through the Computerized Voice Reservation System at 800/875-9694 (800/875-9759 to access via personal computer) or online.
Weather, local knowledge, and skills permitting, VFR arrivals will minimize delays. However, VFR pilots requesting Runway 30 at LGB may experience delays because of IFR traffic.
Pilots should advise Long Beach Tower on initial contact that they will park in the AOPA Expo 2000 area. Long Beach Airport and the city of Long Beach have waived landing fees for Expo 2000. There will be a one-time $15 parking fee charged, regardless of the number of nights the aircraft is parked at LGB.
Shuttle buses will transport pilots and passengers from their aircraft to host FBO AirFlite and to the Long Beach Convention Center. Shuttle buses will operate only to the convention center, not to area hotels.
September 19, 2000