Saturday, January 31, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Tail numbers noted at Gulfstream: N17ND
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Posted: 01/15/2009 10:18:43 PM PST
Privatizing the Long Beach Airport is unrealistic and unlikely to happen, acting Airport Director Chris Kunze told the Airport Advisory Commission on Thursday evening. The concept first came up last week when the City Council was to discuss "leasing opportunities" at the airport in closed session. However, pressured by community members, the council voted to reschedule the discussion for an open session that has yet to be placed on a meeting agenda. While no new details about the proposal emerged from Thursday's commission meeting, Kunze said Long Beach's airport noise ordinance would make the airport unattractive to both private investors and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA's Airport Privatization Pilot Program allows for private companies to lease or outright purchase airport facilities. Five airports across the country are allowed to participate in the program, though so far only Chicago Midway International Airport is close to privatization. "This whole privatization program that the FAA has launched was for the purpose of enticing private capital into infrastructure expansion, more terminal building, more runways," Kunze said. "It just seems highly unlikely to me ... that they would want to take up one of those five slots for an airport where that privatization would not create any additional capacity because of our noise ordinance."
Long Beach's noise ordinance limits the number of commercial flights to 41 per day and creates restrictions meant to reduce noise. With little opportunity for expansion, and little unused, developable land at the airport, Long Beach's airfield would be unattractive to most investors, Kunze said. Road to privatization Perhaps the only way a private entity could make money from the airport would be by raising rates and charges on airlines, Kunze said. However, those rates are set by the airlines' leases and can only be raised beyond cost of living percentages if 65 percent of the airlines vote to increase them, he said.
On the other hand, Kunze said, the city of Long Beach would benefit from privatization by getting access to new revenue sources. The airport is an enterprise fund, which means its revenue is used to sustain its functions without giving any money to the city's general fund for police, libraries and other services. If the airport were to be leased or sold, then the city's general fund would receive that revenue. Long Beach's general fund has been staggered by the economy as oil, sales tax, vehicle license fees and other revenues have dropped. City officials had to balance a $16.9 million budget deficit to start the fiscal year in October, and they're now expecting another $15.7 million revenue shortfall.
At the same time, a private operator would likely want to increase the number of flights, or at least might not be vigilant in enforcing the noise ordinance, Kunze said. An unpopular option Commission Chairman Bob Luskin said privatization wouldn't go over well with Long Beach residents. Community advocate groups fought for years against a planned terminal expansion at the airport that they believe may lead to more flights and noise. "I can't imagine the community uprising if the city contemplates selling this to a private, for-profit industry, so my personal feeling is that this is an issue that is not going to go very far," Luskin said.
Most of the other five commission members didn't vocalize a strong opinion on privatization during the meeting, but afterward they all said they didn't like the idea.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The next meeting of the Long Beach Aviation Friends will be January 14th, 2009 at 6:30 pm at AirFlite which is located at 3250 AirFlite Way, Long Beach, 90807.
The program will include:
* An update on the status of the Long Beach Airport
* A presentation by Long Beach Councilwoman, Gerri Schipske on her book about Rosie the Riviter
* A presentation on the Civil Air Patrol by Lt. Col. Mike Watkins, introduced by Co-Pilot Paul Koons
* Historical Displays
* A very short Long Beach Aviation Friends business meeting
Monday, January 12, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Gulfstream G550 (c/n 5109) left Gulfstream and departed to Los Angeles Intl (KLAX) at 6:20pm.
Tail numbers noted at Gulfstream: N991LF (c/n 576), N908GA (c/n 5209)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Former JetBlue A320-232 N582JB (c/n 2147) "Mystic Blue" arrived at LGB this morning at 8:20am from Marana, AZ. The plane is on it's delivery flight to Zest Air from the Phillippines and was stopping here for fuel before continueing on to Hilo, HI for their crew rest and departed about 9:17am. The plane still has JetBlue interior and the Zest Air rep said they are hoping to get two more A320's from JetBlue in the next few months.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
LONG BEACH: City Council won't explore proposals about airfield in private discussion.
By Paul Eakins, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/06/2009 10:26:37 PM PST
LONG BEACH - A City Council discussion on leasing or possibly selling the Long Beach Airport will be heard in open session, not in closed session as had been planned Tuesday. Pressured by community advocates, the council voted unanimously Tuesday to publicly discuss the matter that City Manager Pat West has said called "leasing opportunities" that have been presented to the city by several large finance companies.
Mayor Bob Foster tried to allay concerns before the council voted to hold the open session at a future meeting. A date to discuss the airport has not yet been set. "There is no deal, there is no offer, there is no proposal, there is not anything on selling or leasing the airport," Foster said. "There are a lot of questions. It may or may not be a good idea. I have my own doubts, I have a lot of questions about it, and this is only to talk about some things as we do with all real estate transactions because you have prices involved and economic data involved that you would not want to be public to give someone an upper hand in negotiations."
Community advocates pointed to the lack of an actual deal being on the table as the reason the matter shouldn't be heard in closed session. "City management can't simply attach a real property address to some agenda item to keep a policy discussion secret," local blogger Bill Pearl told the council. "That's a pretext to evade the openness of the Brown Act."
Community advocate Jack Smith said: "Policymaking needs to be done in public meetings." Councilwoman Rae Gabelich compared discussing the airport's future in private to the process that had brought in JetBlue as the airport's major airline. "There was a time when it was a fight, when they wanted to create the line of operation outside of what our noise ordinance was allowing," Gabelich said.
"The turmoil and the division that happened because of the way that JetBlue's contract was negotiated, the way it was brought out to the community after it was all sealed behind closed doors, is something that I would not want to see happen in this city again." Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske had first publicly voiced concern about the closed session and opposed any sale of the airport in a statement Friday. About 30 percent of the airport is leased by airlines, aircraft storage companies, rental car companies, restaurants and other businesses, West has said. The remaining runways and other facilities aren't leased, he said.
If investors were interested in buying the airport, it could be done through the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Privatization Pilot Program. Several cities have shown an interest in that program, submitting applications in recent years. However, most were withdrawn or rejected. Only Chicago's application to privatize Chicago Midway International Airport remains, leaving four slots available only for non-large hub and general aviation airports such as Long Beach's.
The council decided to postpone the open session Tuesday to discuss the airport proposals on the advice of City Attorney Robert Shannon. He said some members of the public who would be interested in the matter may not have gone to the meeting, knowing that they wouldn't be able to listen in on the closed session. The council could have legally discussed the matter Tuesday, but Shannon said he wasn't sure "that it's consistent with the spirit of the law."
Monday, January 5, 2009
Gulfstream G-III N4500X (c/n 416) landed at 2:30pm and parked at Gulfstream.
Allegiant Air MD-83 N880GA arrived as AAY5041 from Laughlin/Bullhead Intl (KIFP) at 3:50pm. The plane ferried back to Laughlin/Bullhead Intl (KIFP) as AAY5042 at 4:30pm.
Gulfstream G-IV N889TC arrived from McClellan-Palomar (KCRQ) at 6:07pm and parked at Gulfstream.
Gulfstream G-III N357KM arrived from Centennial (KAPA) at 8:58pm and parked at Gulfstream.
Tail numbers noted at Gulfstream: N426QS, N771JT.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
LONG BEACH -- City Manager Pat West has called for a closed session of the City Council next week that one councilwoman fears could lead to the sale of Long Beach Airport. The council is scheduled to meet at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall to discuss "terms of lease or acquisition" of the airport, according to the meeting agenda.
West said Friday that the city had been contacted by a slew of financial companies interested in an airport deal, including notable potential investors such as Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, according to the meeting agenda. When asked whether the airport's sale is on the table, West said only that the meeting is about "leasing opportunities," but wouldn't explicitly say that it isn't about selling the airport. City officials aren't allowed to discuss the details of closed session items.
"We have an opportunity to investigate some lease opportunities at the airport," West said. "We want to gauge the City Council's interest before we spend any time looking at these opportunities." Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske released a statement Friday questioning whether West should be discussing an airport deal with investors without receiving council direction to do so and indicating she wouldn't support privatizing the airport. Any such discussion, she said, should be made in open council session.
"With budget deficits looming, the idea to sell city assets ... is focusing on the wrong solution," Schipske said in a statement. "The only discussion this City Council should be having right now is how we plan to live within our means and what steps we will take to reduce spending." After making cuts to eliminate a $16.9 million budget deficit coming into the current fiscal year, city officials are expecting an additional $15.7 million revenue shortfall.
West said leasing parts of the airport to be operated by private companies is nothing new. About 30 percent of the airport is leased by airlines, aircraft storage companies, rental car companies, restaurants and other businesses, he said. The remaining runways and other facilities aren't leased, West said.
If investors were interested in buying the airport, it could be done through the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Privatization Pilot Program. Several cities have shown an interest in that program, submitting applications in recent years. However, most were withdrawn or rejected.
Only Chicago's application to privatize Chicago Midway International Airport remains, leaving four slots available only for nonlarge hub and general aviation airports such as Long Beach's. Becki Ames, chief of staff for Mayor Bob Foster, said she didn't know the details of what is to be discussed Tuesday and that it is too early to criticize whatever may be presented to the council.
Ames said Schipske "must know something that all the rest of us don't."
Friday, January 2, 2009
Sunrider Corp. McDonnell Douglas MD-87 N168CF arrived from Honolulu Intl (PHNL) at 6:25pm and parked at Airflite.
NetJets Gulfstream G-IV(SP) N486QS arrived from San Diego Intl (KSAN) at 7:45pm and parked at Gulfstream.
Gulfstream G-IV N385PD arrived from Van Nuys (KVNY) at 9:45pm and parked at Long Beach Air Center.