When travelers are once again able to take to the airways, they will no doubt be hoping for “a stress-free and convenient travel experience.” Long Beach Airport (LGB) provides exactly that, said Airport Director Cynthia Guidry after USA Today readers named the airport as one of the Top 10 Small Airports in the Country.
And, thanks to a recent $21.3 million funding increase for major terminal area improvements, the airport remains dedicated to enhancing its level of service for passengers and visitors. The extra funds will be added to an existing $65 million design-build contract to overhaul the airport’s main terminal building and surrounding structures.
Phase I of the Airport Modernization Program was completed in 2012. Phase II will add a new building for ticketing operations, upgrade baggage inspection systems and facilities, and improve the rental car customer service. Latter construction stages will include improvements to the terminal loop and development of a new ground transportation area. In addition, the airport’s renowned Art Deco terminal, designated a Cultural Heritage Landmark, will undergo a seismic retrofit. Upon completion, the improvements will substantially improve the airport’s functional flow from curb to gate.
As the essential construction continues on the Airport Modernization Program, LGB is also set to receive $18.4 million in critical aid from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to “help the airport’s cash flow and current obligations.”
With passenger numbers down significantly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, airports everywhere are taking a financial hit but a new federal aid package will help LGB and other California airports. The newly created CARES Act Airport Grant Program has awarded a total of $1.08 billion to 188 California airports, from regional hubs like Long Beach to international hubs like Los Angeles International Airport.
“Long Beach Airport is part of our nation’s essential transportation infrastructure,” said Long Beach Airport Director Cynthia Guidry. “[The] news from the FAA affirms this important role and will provide much-needed financial support not only for the airport, but for the numerous businesses that rely on the economic impact it generates.”
Located near the Los Angeles and Orange county borders, LGB covers about 1,100 acres and operates five runways serving commercial passenger, cargo, military, and general aviation activity. According to a 2018 report, Long Beach Airport generated about $1.6 billion in economic impact during 2018 and helped support over 10,000 jobs.