Savvy Angelenos have long known that flying out of Long Beach’s low key, never-too-crowded airport is a great way to avoid the legion of horrors that await travelers at LAX. But what to do if you’re trying to get to Guadalajara, say, or Vancouver? Right now, you’re out of luck—but that could soon change.
A feasibility study released last week analyzes the potential effects of creating a new international terminal at the airport, which right now offers only domestic flights.
The idea for this expansion seems to have come from Jet Blue, the airline that operates more than half of flights to and from the airport. According to the report, Jet Blue hopes to offer about ten international flights each day, with most destinations falling in Central America and Canada. Other airlines that fly out of Long Beach Airport were not interested in offering international service there.
As the Long Beach Post notes, one of the primary objectives of the feasibility study was determining whether the addition of international flights would affect a local noise ordinance. The answer seems to be a fairly conclusive no, given that Jet Blue plans on substituting international flights for domestic flights, rather than adding to the total number of planes taking off and landing each day.
The report estimates that building an international terminal, which would by necessity include a customs facility as well, could bring $36.4 million to the area yearly and create over 350 jobs. Small as it may be, the Long Beach Airport already supports more than six percent of all jobs in the city.
Should plans for the international terminal proceed, it would closely follow another major update to the airport completed in 2012. That project gave the airport a new concourse filled with all-local vendors.