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5th District Councilwoman Jackie Kell Gives Additional Perspective On Recent Council Vote Re Filling Now Empty LB Airport Flight Slots

(May 22, 2001) -- 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell has e-mailed with additional perspective on the City Council's recent vote making it easier for air carriers to reserve and hold (and thus fill) currently unused commercial flight slots at LB Airport. The Airport is allowed 41 commercial flights, plus 25 commuter flights, per day under the current 1995 Council ordinance which was not changed by the Council's recent vote. (Click here to see our article.) We post Councilwoman Kell's e-mail to us verbatim, below:

[begin text]

I just wanted to congratulate you on a first rate article about the City Council's discussion of agenda item 32 last Tuesday. The only thing I would like to add is maybe a different perspective on your observation that City Hall is now actively trying to fill the 41 commercial flight slots.

If we left the airport to the forces of the current market, we could expect to see either another cut-rate, under financed start-up airline come into the airport and possible flying 27 flights a day to Las Vegas or a filling of available slots by air cargo carriers pushed from LAX and Orange County as they strive to provide flights for their residents with airports that are already at their maximum flights allowed.

As you pointed out in your article, the current political climate in Washington, D.C. and around the State shows increased interest in Long Beach Airport by outside forces and their agendas.

We, (myself, the Airport Marketing Red Team and City Staff) have been meeting with airlines for almost three years now in the hope of finding partners who are willing to work with the people of Long Beach. While some might argue that we have not had that much to show for our efforts, we have demonstrated that we believe in being proactive and firm in our resolve to protect neighborhoods.

We have had airlines that have asked about changing flight limits, curfew hours or the noise ordinance. All have been met with a resounding "NO".

I firmly believe that by actively investigating and doing outreach to responsible, community friendly airlines, the residents of Long Beach are being better served than by leaving local air traffic over their heads to the whims of fate.

As always, I would enjoy hearing your opinion on this matter. [ Click here to send an e-mail to Councilwoman Kell ]

Jackie Kell
Councilwoman, Fifth District
[May 21, 2001]

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