March 5, 2015
Curt Castagna, president of the Long Beach Airport Association (LBAA), recently presented to the Long Beach City Council an overview of how general aviation (GA) operators at Long Beach Airport (LGB) comply with the Southern California city airports' noise regulations, and how any changes in that policy might adversely affect GA and the positive economic impact that it has on the area.
Castagna, a long-time advocate for business aviation at LGB, told city council members, “We have a track record of supporting noise-mitigation measures, and we will continue to be engaged, available and proactively assist you in these efforts.”
The Feb. 17 special session of the city council at which Castagna spoke, was on hand to help educate the newest members of the council about the airport and its noise ordinance, as well as to start a public dialogue regarding JetBlue’s request for adding international destinations to its LGB scheduled service. If international commercial flights become a reality at LGB, Castagna sees a potential opportunity for business aviation as well, in the form of getting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and eventually a port of entry designation.
In his presentation to the council, Castagna noted that members of LBAA “work collaboratively to support the more than 400 businesses and 18,000 stakeholder jobs found at and around Long Beach Airport. These businesses are good corporate citizens that hope to continue to be an integral part of the economic vitality of the city and its continued revitalization.”
Castagna warned council members that any additional GA restrictions to reduce the overall level of airport noise, beyond that permitted by current policy, would unreasonably penalize and further restrict the vast majority of operators at LGB.
“The arrival and departure of those aircraft that bring commerce, jobs and economic opportunity to the city in no way restricts or eliminates your opportunity to manage and mitigate airport noise by enforcing what has and should continue to be a healthy, well-defended policy,” said Castagna. “As the council reviews the international service opportunity, we encourage the City to consider the success the airport operators continue to have in mitigating noise issues, without new limits or use restrictions on our ability to do business here in Long Beach.”
Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative, said that business aircraft operators have been flying with neighborhood concerns in mind and complying with noise restrictions at LGB for many years, adding, “We appreciate the great job that Curt and the LBAA are doing to proactively look out for the interests of all of general aviation at Long Beach.”
LGB is home to a diverse mix of aviation interests, and has long been a poster child for how general aviation and commercial flights can coexist harmoniously at the same airport. One of the busiest GA airports in the world, LGB has everything from blimps to flight training to business aircraft. Long Beach also has a unique noise ordinance that dates back to the 1990s, and works for the airport and the community, according to Castagna.