Long Beach Airport

Thursday, January 13, 2005
Airport Principles Focus Of Discussion
By Harry Saltzgaver
The Long Beach (CA) Gazette

A public meeting tonight (Thursday) could determine much of the near-term future of the Long Beach Airport. The meeting has been called by the City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to establish “Guiding Principles for Long Beach Airport Marketing and User Responsibilities.” At the Jan. 4 City Council meeting, several council members said they wanted to take action on those guiding principles before voting on a scope for the Environmental Impact Review for airport terminal improvements.

The Transportation Committee is chaired by Seventh District Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga. Members are Eighth District Councilwoman Rae Gabelich and Vice Mayor Jackie Kell, representing the Fifth District. Uranga and Gabelich have frequently opposed projects at the airport, saying they feared expansion there, while Kell has supported airport projects. The airport is in the Fifth District.

At the same time, Gabelich and Third District Councilman Frank Colonna released a joint memo Wednesday seeking more information on the smallest of the alternatives currently under consideration. The memo says the goal is to make that alternative the preferred plan for purposes of the EIR, with two additional alternatives between that plan and a no-build proposal.

Gabelich and Colonna say they want rough building elevations and four components addressed – maintaining historical significance of the existing terminal, use it more effectively, add alternatives for office space away from the terminal and ways to pay for the improvements.

The memo concludes by saying this information should be available before Feb. 1.

The meeting tonight will address eight elements of proposed guidelines.

Environment: Identify and minimize the cumulative exposure to toxic pollutants and noise for neighborhoods and affected areas.

Public Participation: Improve public participation in airport operations and infrastructure projects that Impact the community.

Health: Identify and minimize the cumulative impacts for the airport that adversely affects the health of our community.

Safety: Promote a safe facility that recognizes the inherent risk of locating an airport in an urban area.

Land Use: Support an environment that attracts and retains airport-related business that serves the traveling public and that is compatible with the needs of the surrounding community.

Mitigation: Identify mitigation measures that address the negative impacts of the airport and airport related activities to surrounding communities including homes, schools and businesses.

Financial Impact: Financial plans for airport improvements should include appropriate contributions from airline users to minimize city’s exposure to a fluctuating industry.

Legislation: Establish a community government partnership by taking a proactive position on understanding and protecting the city noise ordinance.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Miller Family Health Education Center, 3820 Cherry Ave. Call 570-6139.