3 Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport
Daugherty Field
LGB logo.jpg
Long Beach Airport - USGS 29 March 2004.jpg
USGS aerial image, March 2004
Airport type Public
Owner City of Long Beach
Serves Los Angeles and Orange counties
Location Long Beach, California
Elevation AMSL 60 ft / 18 m
Coordinates 33°49′04″N 118°09′06″W / 33.81778°N 118.15167°W / 33.81778; -118.15167Coordinates: 33°49′04″N 118°09′06″W / 33.81778°N 118.15167°W / 33.81778; -118.15167
Website www.LGB.org
LGB is located in California
Location of airport in California
Direction Length Surface
ft m
12/30 10,000 3,048 Asphalt
7L/25R 6,192 1,887 Asphalt
7R/25L 5,423 1,653 Asphalt
16L/34R 3,975 1,212 Asphalt
16R/34L 4,470 1,362 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers (ACI) 2,978,433
Aircraft operations (FAA) 329,808
Based aircraft (FAA) 435
Sources: FAA[1] and ACI[2]
Long Beach Airport's terminal building, street view.
Terminal building, rear view. 2009.
Long Beach Airport runway 30 short final.

Long Beach Airport (IATA: LGBICAO: KLGBFAA LID: LGB), also known as Daugherty Field, is a city-owned public-use airport located three nautical miles (6 km) northeast of the central business district of the City of Long Beach, in Los Angeles County, California, United States.[1] It serves Los Angeles and Orange Counties. It was formerly known as Long Beach Municipal Airport.

This airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport.[3] As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 1,413,251 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008,[4] 1,401,903 enplanements in 2009, and 1,451,404 in 2010.[5]



Long Beach Airport has very little passenger service compared with the dominant Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) approximately 18 miles (29 km) to the northwest, and will always remain a relatively small airport because of restrictive ordinances adopted to minimize noise in the residential neighborhoods near LGB. The airport is under one of the strictest ordinances in the United States on both airport noise and the number of commercial flights. The current noise levels allow for 41 daily commercial flights and 25 commuter flights. Local community groups and activists are very vocal about any changes at the airport.

At the same time, the arrival of low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways at Long Beach Airport in 2001, and that airline's decision to establish a West Coast hub at LGB, has substantially increased the air traffic to the airport and has cemented LGB's standing as a viable alternative to LAX for flights from the Los Angeles area to major East Coast cities. While JetBlue used the local noise ordinance to turn Long Beach Airport into a miniature fortress hub, it quickly reached maximum capacity and has since been forced to rework flight schedules and direct future growth to other Los Angeles area airports. JetBlue calls LGB a Focus city and now operates 31 of the 41 slots.

Air cargo carriers, including FedEx and UPS, also maintain operations out of LGB. 57,000 tons of goods are transported each year.

The Boeing Company (formerly McDonnell Douglas) maintains production of the C-17 military transport jet; maintenance facilities for other Boeing and McDonnell Douglas/Douglas aircraft (including the historic DC-9 and DC-10 aircraft) are also found at Long Beach Airport. Gulfstream Aerospace also has a completion/service center at the airport.

Although commercial flights are severely restricted, there are still a large number of flights at the airport from charter flights, private aviation, flight schools, law enforcement flights, helicopters, advertising blimps, planes towing advertising banners, etc. Because of that, Long Beach airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, with 398,433 aircraft movements in 2007.[6]

Long Beach Airport has a single terminal. It is notable for its Streamline Moderne style of architecture and is a historical landmark. Because of the age and limited size of the current terminal, changes—including a possible addition—are currently on-going.

Long Beach Transit Routes 111, 104, and 102 serve the airport. Wardlow Road runs from the airport to the Los Angeles County/Orange County border, where it becomes Ball Road and crosses the northern edge of the Disneyland Resort.

Long Beach Airport is the second closest airport to Disneyland, after John Wayne Airport.


The first transcontinental flight, a biplane flown by Calbraith Perry Rodgers, landed in 1911 on Long Beach's sandy beach. From 1911 until the airport was created, planes continued to use the beach as a runway.

The famous barnstormer Earl S. Daugherty had leased the area that later became the airport for air shows, stunt flying, wing walking and passenger rides. Later, he started the world's first flight school in 1919 at the same location. In 1923, Daugherty convinced the City council to use the site to create the first municipal airport.

During the 1940s and 1950s the only airline nonstops were to Los Angeles, San Diego, and sometimes Catalina Island; in 1962, Western Airlines started one Lockheed Electra flight a day to San Francisco. Jets arrived in 1968; in 1969 Western had nonstop 737s to Las Vegas, Oakland and San Francisco, but by 1980 SFO was the only nonstop jet destination (on PSA by then).

In 1981 the startup airline Jet America started nonstop MD80 service to Chicago and, in 1982, to Dallas-Fort Worth. In 1982 Alaska Airlines started nonstops to Portland and Seattle; in 1983 American started ORD and DFW and United started Denver. In 1984 United had two daily 767s to Denver, which surely were the largest aircraft ever scheduled into Long Beach.

In the period between 1990 and 1992, Continental, Delta, TWA and USAir discontinued service to the airport. In early 2006, American Airlines had also pulled out because of a lack of profitability.[7]

  • Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan used to regularly fly out of Daugherty Field. Before his infamous flight from Brooklyn, New York to Ireland in 1938, he had already flown a transcontinental flight from Long Beach to New York. He was supposed to be returning to Daugherty Field after authorities had refused his request to fly on to Ireland, but because of a claimed navigational error, he ended up in Ireland instead. He never publicly acknowledged having flown to Ireland intentionally.

Military use

A Douglas C-74 Globemaster I at Long Beach Airport with Boeing B-17 and C-46 Curtiss Commando aircraft in the background.

To attract the United States Navy, the City of Long Beach built a hangar and an administrative building and then offered to lease it to the Navy for $1 a year for the establishment of the Naval Reserve Air Base. On May 10, 1928, the U.S. Navy commissioned the field as a Naval Reserve Air Base (NRAB Long Beach). Two years later, the city built a hangar and administrative building for the United States Army Air Corps as well. It should be stated that the only significant developments to the little city airport began only after the city built hangars and administrative facilities for the Army and Navy in 1928-30.

As a Naval Reserve Air Base, the mission was to instruct, train and drill Naval Reserve aviation personnel. A ground school was offered three nights a week at the base and two nights a week at the University of California in Los Angeles until 1930, when ground school was continuously offered at the base. On April 9, 1939, training in night flight began, and shortly thereafter its facilities began to be used by fleet aircraft as well.

However, with increased air activity by commercial airlines and the private airplane industry, particularly with Douglas Aircraft showing an interest in the Long Beach Municipal Airport, the facility required more space. With Douglas Aircraft as a resident, the attitude of Long Beach's authorities became cold and openly hostile to naval aviation, with its city manager saying that "the sooner the Navy gets out of the Long Beach airport, the better we will like it."

Because of this hostile attitude, the Navy had begun a survey for a more suitable site — unknown to city officials at the time. Nevertheless, Admiral Ernest J. King, then the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, and Admirals William D. Leahy, Joseph K. Taussig, and Allen E. Smith pointedly requested that the city of Long Beach repair the runways and reminded the city that the Pacific Fleet, then laying offshore in both Long Beach and San Pedro harbors, had a payroll of more than $1 million a month. Eventually the city complied with the Navy's requests.

Still, the city continued to show a hostile attitude toward approving a lease on any additional land that the Naval Reserve now required.

The Navy there upon, fed up with the city of Long Beach, decided upon the purchase of some property owned by a Mrs. Susanna Bixby Bryant, a fact made known by the commander of the base, Commander Thomas A. Gray, to the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Admiral John H. Towers. The circumstances behind the purchase were revealed to James V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy, and by him to the House Naval Affairs committee who approved the purchase. Although Comdr. Gray had offered Mrs. Bryant $350 an acre, in the best patriotic spirit she sold the property at $300 an acre.

With the site acquired, in 1941, construction funds soon followed and NAS Los Alamitos began to take shape. Upon the transfer of the Naval Reserve Training Facility to Los Alamitos, quite to the surprise of city officials of Long Beach, in 1942, instead of returning the Naval Reserve Air Base facilities at Long Beach to the city, the Navy simply turned over the facilities to the United States Army Air Forces, which had also established a training base adjacent to it.

Nevertheless, with war clouds on the horizon, the NARB Long Beach was not totally abandoned but simply downgraded to that of a Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS).

The 1940s was an extraordinarily busy time for the Long Beach airport. Throughout World War II, the airfield was given over to the war effort. In August, 1941, the Civil Aeronautics Administration took over control of the airport, which had increased to 500 acres (2.0 km2). Once Los Alamitos became an operational base in 1941, NAAS Long Beach now turned to servicing carrier borne F4Fs, SBDs, FM-2s, F4Us, F6Fs, TBF/TBMs, and SB2Cs. In addition, it had utility aircraft and such patrol planes as the PBY, SNB, GB3, NH, GH, and SNJ.

As the Navy's activities began to be shifted to Los Alamitos, the Long Beach Army Airfield at Long Beach became the home of the Army's Air Transport Command's Ferrying Division, which included a squadron of 18 women pilots commanded by Barbara London, a long time Long Beach aviatrix.

Like the Naval Air Ferry Command at NAS Terminal Island, the Army's ferrying work was an immense undertaking, thanks to Douglas Aircraft's wartime production. Ground breaking for the initial Douglas Aircraft facility occurred in November 1940, with dedication in October 1941. Douglas had been drawn to Long Beach primarily because of the presence of the town's growing municipal airport and the presence of both the Army and Navy there. With wartime contracts, the company immediately went into intensive production. The company's first C-47 was delivered 16 days after the attack of Pearl Harbor, and another 4,238 were produced during the war. Additionally, the plant turned out some 1,000 A-20 Havocs, not to mention 3,000 B-17 Flying Fortresses and 1,156 A-26 Invaders.

With the end of the war, the U.S. Navy abandoned any use of the Long Beach Municipal Airport facility completely, and with it, the designation of Long Beach as a Naval Auxiliary Air Station.

On March 18, 2009, President Barack Obama's Air Force One landed at Long Beach Airport for the President's town hall meetings in Orange County and Los Angeles. President Obama made an appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show in Burbank on March 19, 2009.

Facilities and aircraft

Long Beach /Daugherty Field/ Airport covers an area of 1,166 acres (472 ha) at an elevation of 60 feet (18 m) above mean sea level. It has five asphalt paved runways:[1]

  • 12/30 is 10,000 by 200 feet (3,048 x 61 m)
  • 7L/25R is 6,192 by 150 feet (1,887 x 46 m)
  • 7R/25L is 5,423 by 150 feet (1,653 x 46 m)
  • 16L/34R is 3,975 by 75 feet (1,212 x 23 m)
  • 16R/34L is 4,470 by 75 feet (1,362 x 23 m)

For the 12-month period ending December 1, 2010, the airport had 329,808 aircraft operations, an average of 903 per day: 87% general aviation, 10% scheduled commercial, 3% air taxi, and <1% military. At that time there were 435 aircraft based at this airport: 69% single-engine, 11% multi-engine, 11% jet, and 10% helicopter.[1]

Airlines and destinations

The gates at Long Beach Airport are divided into the North and South Concourse, each with four gates. Gates in the North Concourse are numbered 21, 22, 23A and 23B, while gates in the South Concourse are numbered 1, 2, 2A, 3, 4, and 4A.

The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:

Airlines Destinations Concourse
Alaska Airlines operated by SkyWest Airlines Seattle/Tacoma North
Allegiant Air Las Vegas [ends November 28] North
Delta Air Lines Salt Lake City North
Delta Connection operated by SkyWest Airlines Salt Lake City North
JetBlue Airways Austin, Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Las Vegas, New York-JFK, Oakland, Portland (OR), Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Anchorage
US Airways Express operated by Mesa Airlines Phoenix North


Carrier shares for August 2010 - July 2011[8]
Carrier Passengers (arriving and departing)
Horizon Air
Top 10 domestic destinations (August 2010 – July 2011)[8]
Rank City Airport Airline(s) Passengers
1 Salt Lake City, Utah SLC Delta, JetBlue 194,000
2 Las Vegas, Nevada LAS JetBlue 172,000
3 Seattle, Washington SEA Alaska Airlines, JetBlue 164,000
4 San Francisco, California SFO JetBlue 147,000
5 Oakland, California OAK JetBlue 145,000
6 Portland, Oregon PDX JetBlue 99,000
7 Phoenix, Arizona PHX US Airways 93,000
8 New York, New York JFK JetBlue 86,000
9 Sacramento, California SMF JetBlue 72,000
10 Chantilly, Virginia / Washington, D.C. IAD JetBlue 68,000

Terminal improvement plans

After years of controversy and a court battle involving local schools, the Long Beach Airport is moving ahead with a $136-million improvement project designed to modernize the facility without sacrificing its historic Art Deco terminal or reputation among travelers for convenience.

Plans call for a new 1,989-space parking structure, ramp improvements and a concourse with a central garden and 11 gates that will replace the temporary trailers where travelers now wait for flights. About $2 million will be spent to refurbish the old terminal, which was built in 1941 and declared a historic landmark by the city decades later.

The project, however, will retain the open-air feeling of the current terminal complex, and passengers will still walk across the tarmac when boarding or leaving their planes. Baggage claim also will be partially enclosed as it is today.[9]

Accidents and incidents

  • On March 16, 2011, a privately-owned Beechcraft King Air crashed shortly after takeoff, killing five people and injuring another.[10] The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "FAA Airport Master Record for LGB (Form 5010 PDF)". Federal Aviation Administration. 25 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "2010 North American final rankings". Airports Council International - North America. 2010. http://www.aci-na.org/content/airport-traffic-reports. 
  3. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A (PDF, 2.03 MB)". National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2010. http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/npias/reports/media/2011/npias_2011_appA.pdf. 
  4. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2008 (PDF, 1.0 MB)". CY 2008 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 18 December 2009. http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy08_all_enplanements.pdf. 
  5. ^ "Enplanements for CY 2010 (PDF, 5.4 MB)". CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. 4 October 2011. http://www.faa.gov/airports/planning_capacity/passenger_allcargo_stats/passenger/media/cy10_all_enplanements.pdf. 
  6. ^ "Traffic Movements 2007 PRELIMINARY". Airports Council International. 2007. http://www.aci.aero/cda/aci_common/display/main/aci_content07_c.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54-57_666_2__. 
  7. ^ "American Airlines to end service from Long Beach Airport". North County Times. Associated Press. December 18, 2005. http://www.nctimes.com/special_reports/travel/article_8a356fe0-1a1a-59f9-8c57-6919f38511fb.html. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Long Beach, CA: Long Beach Airport (LGB)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. July 2011. http://www.transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=LGB&End_YearMonth=24139. 
  9. ^ Weikel, Dan (May 4, 2010). "Long Beach Airport moves ahead with improvement project". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/04/local/la-me-long-beach-airport-20100504-20. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Cause Of Long Beach, Calif. Plane Crash Probed". NPR. 17 March 2011. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5xFv1Lled. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 

External links

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