The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Long Beach Airport (LGB) a $15.3 million grant as part of the Airport Improvement Program, the City of Long Beach announced today.
To be presented to City Council for consideration on August 8, the grant will be used to improve the infrastructure of LGB’s busiest Runway 7R-25L, which is primarily used by general aviation for extensive flight training operations by flight schools and flying clubs located on the south side of the airfield, according to the release.
“The aviation economy is strong in Long Beach,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “Pilots are in demand across the United States and Long Beach Airport is providing the groundwork for a healthy and safe environment ideal for valuable pilot training and excellent knowledge in the field.”
Runway 7R-25L will be reconstructed to provide a minimum 20-year service life and will be reduced from 150 feet in width to 100 feet. The reconstruction will include improvements made to drainage systems, signage, pavement markings and runway guard lights. The funding will also go toward grading infield areas, replacing existing lighting with LED lighting, two new aircraft run-up areas and blast pads on Runway 7L-25R.
Once completed, Runway 7R-25L will be re-designated as 8R-26L due to naturally occurring shifts in the earth’s magnetic field, according to the announcement. Runways are numbered based on the compass bearing in which its oriented. In addition to the reconstruction and redesignation of 7R-25L, Runway 7L-25R will be redesignated 8L-26R.
“The grant program funds various infrastructure projects, all of which help create more jobs in Long Beach. Credit goes to our airport engineering team for their efforts in applying for the grant, and to the FAA and Congressional Delegation for their support,” LGB Director Jess L. Romo said in a statement. “An airport runway designation is not subjective but rather tied to its orientation to a compass heading. This is a key element for pilot awareness and safety.”