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Long Beach Airport No Longer Flying Under The Radar: $90 Million In Upgrades Ordered

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Photo by K.T. via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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With a modernization effort expected to support more than 1,000 jobs through 2013, city officials have announced more than $90 million in large and small upgrades will be made to the Long Beach Airport, beginning with the completion on a 2,000-space parking garage, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

From a new 74,000-square-foot passenger concourse to runway rehabilitation, jet ramp improvements, landscaping and solar panel installation, airport officials are mid-way through a five-year modernization plan designed to accommodate the facility's tremendous growth in the past decade. The airport opened its new parking garage last week.

The airport has experienced more than a 250% increase in "annual passenger loads" since the late 90s. Said Mario Rodriguez, Long Beach Airport director, the improvements are meant to maintain what people already like about the airport.

"If we're going to sustain ourselves, we have to modernize," he continued. "But we're doing it in a way that doesn't change the general feel of the airport or the level of customer service passengers have come to expect."
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Among its charms, "quick security wait times and simple layout" helped rank the airport seventh overall in the United States for business travelers per an annual survey in Conde Nast Traveler. It also won best in baggage handling, and came in third for "connections" convenience.

"We're really proud of what's happening, the airport's record of fiscal responsibility and our reputation among commercial airlines and general aviation," Rodriguez said. "Your airport will continue to create a more convenient, human-scale airport experience."

Project completion is expected in 2014. We'll see you in the future, LGB.