"I urge you to permit all Commission scenarios and recommendations to be studied, particularly the one supported by expert airport design consultants hired by the City, the City's own airport staff as well as JetBlue."
(February 7, 2005) -- Following a Feb. 1 City Council meeting in which several Councilmembers indicated they are prepared to support Airport management Alternative #2 (smaller than management's preferred choice but larger than Airport management proposed in Sept. 2003) as the primary and largest Environmental Impact Report alternative to evaluate regarding expansion of LB Airport's permanent terminal area facilities, JetBlue Chairman and CEO David Neeleman has sent a letter to City Councilmembers.
The letter to LB lawmakers from LB Airport's largest commercial carrier tenant comes on the eve of what is expected to be a showdown Council vote on Feb. 8.
LBReport.com obtained the letter from city offices. We post its text verbatim below:
Dear City Council Member:
On behalf of JetBlue's Long beach based crewmembers and indeed all of our 8,000 crewmembers, I urge you to support the report of the Airport Advisory Commission that you tasked with studying the airport's permanent terminal facilities.
Over the past two years, millions of JetBlue customers, and those of other airlines, have been greeted by an assembly of undersized trailers that hardly meet the minimal customer service expectations we have set for our customers. JetBlue has relied on the City to properly address this shortcoming and in doing so JetyBlue has participated in the process established by the Council. As this lengthy process concludes with a scheduled vote to proceed with environmental reviews, I urge you to permit all Commission scenarios and recommendations to be studied, particularly the one supported by expert airport design consultants hired by the City, the City's own airport staff as well as JetBlue.
For more than three years, ending a long period of underutilization of the airport, JetBlue has provided the residents of Long Beach with convenient and affordable air service to key destinations utilizing the quietest aircraft in their class. JetBlue has defended the City's noise ordinance from serious legal challenges and we have invested tens of millions of dollars to ensure our operations comply with existing noise curfews. Nevertheless, the City has failed to construct or even move forward on an adequately sized permanent terminal facility.
As members of the Council, each of you know perfectly well that there is simply no relationship between providing adequate permanent terminal facilities and adding more flights [italics in original] to the airport. I urge your vote to expeditiously proceed with the environmental work as recommended by your duly tasked Airport Advisory Commission.
s/ David Neeleman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer