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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Airport on Track for Improvements

A right-sized parking structure and then a right-sized terminal are on the near horizon at Long Beach Municipal Airport. We broke ground last week on the parking structure and hopefully that bodes well for the terminal improvements.

As a reminder -- the City was held up in moving forward on both of these projects because of lawsuits filed by the Long Beach Unified School District and the PTA. Now that the suits are over -- we can move forward - still carefully because we need to be able to fund these projects with FAA grants and passenger facility charges (PFCs).

The PFC brings me to an article run in the local media -- the FAA sets these charges -- right now they are set at $4.50 per passenger. The PFC can only be used on airport related projects -- they do not go into the City's general funds. Long Beach will use these PFCs and FAA grant monies to do a number of improvements at the Airport.

The FAA is discussing increasing the PFC to $7.00 per passenger. Long Beach has no authority to increase these fees.

As I said during the ground-breaking -- The City of Long Beach got it right when it hired the new Airport Director, Mario Rodriguez, who agreed that the proposed parking structure needed to be reduced in size. Mario is moving these projects along at the appropriate speed. But as an elected official -- I know we can't please all the people all the time..

Save Station 18

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