Long Beach Airport- Suspicious Van Saga Continues

From the Long Beach Airport Association Newsletter

Suspicious Van Saga Continues

As we reported in last quarter’s newsletter, on September 28, 2005, Airport Security and LBPD detected a suspicious rental van with out-of-state license plates, blocked windows and unidentified equipment protruding from one window, parked just outside the Long Beach airport fence line at the departure end of Runway 30, in a no-parking zone. Based on established security protocols the area was immediately closed to the public. A command center was established and the airport’s two main runways were closed to departing aircraft. With only 5 minutes left before authorities were to blow up the suspicious van, it was determined that the van was linked to an unofficial air quality monitoring study arranged by the anti-airport group, Hush II.

At the November 2005 Airport Advisory Commission meeting, a member of the public in the audience, Mr. Don May, stated that he was the subject surrounding the van incident. He stated that the van was parked in Lakewood and was there to gather air quality information from the exhaust of departing aircraft. The only item that protruded from the van window, he said, was an air intake hose that goes into his instrumentation. Airport Manager Chris Kunze responded, saying that the van was parked in the dirt over the curb on Airport property, in an area clearly marked “tow-away, no parking.”

Mike Mais of the City Attorney’s office updated the Commission at their January 2006 meeting, stating that the item has been taken under advisement. The Commission voted unanimously to hold the item over to a future meeting.

Editor’s Note: Perhaps we should start a “News of the Weird” category.

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