Long Beach Airport named one of the nation’s top 5 airports

The accolades the Long Beach Airport continues to receive seem endless as with great design comes great praise: Money magazine has named Long Beach’s center of aviation as one of the nation’s top five airports in terms of overall quality, timeliness, and price.

To determine the best airport, 1,425 data points—ranging from accessibility and security to food and shopping—for the 75 busiest airports in the country were analyzed. Coming out at Number 1 was Portland’s international airport; Long Beach sat at Number 3.

This honor joins the airport’s multiple recognitions from Condé Naste, honors from USA Today, being awarded California Transportation Foundation’s Aviation Project of the Year in 2013, being noted as one of the most beautiful airports in the world by the BBC in 2014, honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 2014, as well as an assortment of other recognitions

In all frankness, we have one of the coolest flight operations in our back yard.

The airport’s open-air concourse evokes everything about the Long Beach lifestyle. Intelligently thought out, the space is more like an escape than home to an in-and-out for busy travelers and aircrafts—and that is partly thanks to its landscape design from Meléndrez (now known as RELM, they’re the crew leading that tiny project known as the MyFigueroa project in LA and led the the Bixby Park re-design several years back).

Take, for example, its use of native plants: The giant beds of agaves are, according to the landscape architect’s proposal, reflective of the sea while the California fan palms recall the iconic skyline of coastal esplanades. Even its spots of lush greenery is meant to evoke the wetlands. Or take the furniture. Wooden benches resemble palettes of stacked lumber, designed to remind travelers of the cargo transported at the city’s coastal dockyards. And the wooden walkway that connects the two concourses? It’s a nostalgic nod toward the days when plank piers and boardwalks dominated the Long Beach social scene (and also reminds locals of what the Pike used to be).

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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