Seeing planes in different parts of the sky? Here’s why

So the fighter jets maybe didn’t fly over all of Long Beach yesterday, but if you look up this weekend, you might see regular planes are flying where they don’t normally fly in our city.

It’s because the Long Beach Airport has temporarily closed its main commercial runway for construction that will update the geometry of the taxiway to meet current federal design standards.

The runway will be closed over the course of the next two weekends: May 16 and 17 and May 30 and 31. It was originally scheduled to start May 9 and 10, but got delayed.

The temporary flight paths will bring incoming planes over Los Alamitos and the 605 Freeway rather than Cal State Long Beach and outgoing planes straight to the west or toward and over Downtown Long Beach rather than over Bixby Knolls and down the 710 Freeway toward the ocean.

The airport’s engineering staff had originally planned the construction work for September this year, but with the pandemic causing commercial operations to slow significantly, they decided to move it up to this month, officials said.

The runway closure will begin on each Friday at 10 p.m. and reopen the following Monday at 7 a.m. The runway will remain open through the week.


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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.