International Flights

Corliss G. Lee

Although the city council funded a feasibility study on this topic to the tune of $350,000 of taxpayer money, the parameters that were set with the contractor that did the study did not require financial data that would either support or debunk the proposal as being good or bad for business in Long Beach and there was no requirement for a deliverable that identified potential current or future risk.

The feasibility study would have us believe that there is no downside to this proposal. A document that does not acknowledge risk – that only reports the favorable or innocuous affects is one-sided and incomplete.

The current proposal mainly addresses Jet Blue and their intentions to make Long Beach a key destination for flights to/from Mexico. In the short term, Jet Blue would be the main beneficiary should this proposal be approved with Gulfstream also enjoying the benefit that private jets from overseas could land directly at Long Beach rather than having to clear customs at LAX.

However, once approved, there is nothing to stop other airlines (Delta and American for example) from bringing in international flights. International flights normally have larger aircraft and more passengers.

With international flights increasing at the rate of 10 percent per year at LAX, one could easily surmise that it would only be a matter of time before other airlines sought to bring international flights to Long Beach as well.

By stating the assumption in the opening pages of the feasibility study that it was to be a “given” that the Noise Ordinance will remain in place, any scenario where the Noise Ordinance may be challenged was effectively dismissed. This exclusion needs a reality check.

As the demand for growth in international travel increases there is no way to stop prospective businesses/airlines from challenging the noise ordinance.

The sole beneficiary of this proposal appears to be Jet Blue, (with some benefit to Gulfstream). In the meeting with the 5th district and Stacey Mungo, the question was posed “What is the upside for the City of Long Beach?” No upside was identified. It has yet to be determined if there is an upside for anyone other than JetBlue and Gulfstream.

Since Jet Blue seems to be the main beneficiary should the proposal be approved, the question that begs to be asked is “Which of our city council members has accepted campaign contributions from Jet Blue?” Council members(s) that accepted campaign contributions should recuse themselves from voting on this proposal.

Corliss G Lee is a 5th District Resident




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