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    Public Works Dir. Says America West Plans To Seek Three Vacant Airport Commuter Flight Slots

    (January 21, 2005) -- In a memo circulated late today (Jan. 21) and obtained by, senior city management has informed LB City Councilmembers and the Mayor that it appears America West intends to apply for three of LB Airport's 25 vacant "commuter" flight slots (aircraft under 75,000 pounds) to initiate new service to Las Vegas.

    The memo by Public Works Director Christine Andersen says no official request for the slots has been received as of the close of business today (Friday Jan. 21).

    The development follows an America West press release -- issued three days earlier on Jan. 18 -- in which the carrier indicated that America West Express (operated by Mesa Airlines) planned two daily flights starting April 29 between Las Vegas and Long Beach using a larger, heavier aircraft that wouldn't qualify for the vacant commuter slots. All of LB's noise budgeted 41 large aircraft flights slots (over 75,000 pounds) are filled.

    A January 21 memo from Public Works Director Christine Andersen to City Manager Jerry Miller for Councilmembers and the Mayor states [bracketed material by]:

    Yesterday [Jan. 20] staff was notified that an Internet advertisement (Yahoo) from America West had been observed regarding several new flights being offered at a variety of airports. Long Beach Airport was mentioned as having three new America West flights, effective April 29, 2005. One of these flights was to Phoenix (in addition to their current 4 daily flights to Phoenix), and two were to Las Vegas (a new destination for America West out of LGB).

    We contacted America West yesterday [Jan. 20] and today [Jan. 21] to advise them that they could not operate these flights without flight slots, and that no air carrier slots [over 75,000 pounds] were available. They said that they intended to operate the flights using 50-passenger CRJ-200 aircraft, which qualify as "commuters" under the City's Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance (25 daily commuter slots are available at this time). They said that they would send a letter request for three commuter slots, which are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

    No such request has been received, as of close of day Friday, however, based on the expressed intentions of the America West staff, a letter request is expected to arrive shortly...

    cc: Christine F. Shippey, Assistant City Manager
    Chris Kunze, Airport Bureau Manager

    Three days earlier, America West's press release indicated plans for two daily flights between LB and Las Vegas using CRJ 900 aircraft (over 75,000 pounds, maximum 86 passengers). However, Public Works Director Andersen's memo -- written after telephone contacts with the carrier -- indicates the carrier will seek three daily flights using CRJ 200 aircraft which seat 50 people...and presumably qualify for one of LB Airport's 25 vacant commuter slots.

    LB Airport Public Information Officer Sharon Diggs-Jackson stressed to that no official request from the carrier has been received. "When it is received, we'll proceed in an appropriate manner," Ms. Diggs-Jackson said.


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