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    LB Airport Developments:

  • LB City Hall Is Preparing Airport-Related"Economic Impact Analysis" (w/ CSULB) And "Real Estate Value" Analysis (w/ Community Dev'ment Dept.)

  • LB City Att'y Office Says Human Health Risk Assessment Shouldn't Be Part of EIR For Permanent Expanded Terminal Area Facilities

  • Airport-Related Human Health Risk Assessment Will Be Part of Douglas Park EIR, Expected in October

  • Airport Mgt. Provides Two Smaller Alternatives For Expanded Terminal Facilities...But Says Smaller Concession Areas Will Generate Fewer Sales

    (September 15, 2004) -- has learned that in connection with the September 16 meeting of a City Hall-appointedAirport Advisory Commission:

    • 1. The LB City Attorney's office says a Human Health Risk Assessment would not properly be part of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for expansion of LB Airport's permanent terminal area facilities;
    • 2. Airport management says an airport-related Human Health Risk Assessment will be part of the Douglas Park project environmental review and will include Airport area environs and current flight activity impacts. The EIR containing the HHRA will be available in October/November;

    • 3. An Airport area residential real estate value analysis is being performed under the oversight of City Hall's Community Development Department, expected to be publicly available in October;

    • 4. A LB Airport "Economic Impact Analysis" is being conducted by CSULB under the auspices of City Hall's Community Development Department with completion expected in November. has further learned that in response to a July request by the Airport Advisory Commission seeking two smaller alternatives to Airport management's recommended facility increases, Airport management will forward two alternatives (prepared by Airport hired firm HNTB) with concession areas totaling 19,860 sq. ft and 15,001 sq. ft., respectively, reduced from Airport management's recommended 25,460 sq. ft. An accompanying memo contends sales per enplanement for the two smaller alternatives would be $5.65 and $4.90, respectively, down from $7.08 per enplanement under staff's recommended larger increase.

    Memoranda and materials reflecting these matters were provided to by LB Airport in the public interest...and will also be available for the public at the Sept. 16 meeting of the Airport Advisory Commission, LB Energy (auditorium), 2400 E. Spring St. starting at 6 p.m. posts the City Attorney memo and detailed memoranda reflecting the alternative facility sizes below.

    [begin salient memoranda]

    Date: September 14, 2004
    To: Chris Kunze, Manager Airport Bureau
    From: Michael J. Mais, Assistant City Attorney
    Subject: Scope of EIR Related to Proposed Terminal Improvements

    As the Airport Advisory Commission ("AAC") has studied the proposed terminal improvements at the Airport over the last months, an issue has persisted in regard to the breadth of the Environmental Impact Report ("EIR") that will be prepared to study the proposed project. Specifically, the question has arisen as to whether the EIR should contain a comprehensive Health Risk Assessment ("HRA") that would study such things as City-wide air pollution related to the Port of Long Beach, the Airport, and the surrounding freeway systems. A related question has been raised as to whether or not the EIR should study the effect on the Airport and the surrounding community should the City sometime in the future lose the protections currently afforded by the City’s Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance.

    CEQA Background:

    A City must cause an EIR to be prepared for any project (such as the proposed terminal improvements) that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment. Under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), the existing physical environment is the baseline by which the agency determines whether an impact is significant. In other words, when considering a project, the scope of the EIR is limited by the nature of the project at hand and the conditions as they exist at the time the Notice of Preparation is generated. CEQA does not require a City to speculate as to physical or regulatory changes that possibly may occur to the future, and are not required to undertake studies that have a remote connection to the project that has actually been proposed.

    The EIR must describe the proposed project and its environmental setting, state the objectives sought to be achieved, identify the significant effects on the environment caused by that particular project, state how those impacts can be mitigated or avoided, and identify a reasonable range of alternatives to the project.

    The Project:

    As is described in the Notice of Preparation that has been drafted in connection with the terminal improvements EIR, the purpose of the proposed project is to accommodate the passengers who will come to the Long Beach Airport under the currently permitted number of flights. It is not described as a project intended to induce future airport growth, or future passenger demand. The project does not contemplate the creation of a new regulatory scheme (i.e., a new ordinance) that would add flights beyond those currently permitted. The purpose of the project is to accommodate current passenger demand as contrasted to an airport project where an operator is considering the possibility of building facilities, not to accommodate existing demand, but to accommodate some forecast demand 20 years in the future.


    Under CEQA, a "project" is an activity that will cause a physical change in the environment. It is those physical changes that CEQA obligates the decision maker to analyze in an EIR. A corollary of the requirement that all physical changes must be studied is that uncertain or speculative future activities not currently proposed for approval, and which are not reasonably foreseeable consequences of the project, need not be included in the project description or analyzed in the EIR. A "project" EIR is not properly used to study environmental effects generally, environmental debates generally, environmental disputes generally, or questions of whether or not philosophically the City should have some other environmental policy relating to some specific topic such as air quality, or hazardous substances.

    The direct and indirect physical effects brought on by the proposed project are legitimate topics that need to be addressed in an EIR on a "bricks and mortar" project such as that currently proposed by the City. Whether or not the City should operate a municipal Airport, whether or not the airport should operate differently than it does, whether or not the Airport should accommodate more or fewer flights, or how the airport contributes to the overall air quality situation in the City, are questions that are beyond the scope of this project, and beyond the scope of a proper EIR prepared for the purposes of this project.

    At some point there can be so much "baggage" added to an EIR that it fails in its essential philosophical and statutory purpose. When an EIR misleads rather than informs, when it is prepared in such a way that it can be used to misinform, then CEQA has failed in its essential purpose. Therefore in the context of this particular project, an EIR would not properly include a City-wide Health Risk Assessment evaluating the environmental activities of the Port, the Airport, or the surrounding freeway systems. Likewise, speculating about some possible future loss of regulatory authority at the Airport cannot reasonably be linked or shown to be a cause/effect of the proposed project, and therefore would not be a proper topic of study in the pending EIR.


    Legitimate questions and public concerns have been raised regarding the overall negative effects on the environment that may be attributed to various activities in the City including the Airport, the Port of Long Beach, the surrounding freeway systems, as well as other potential sources of pollution in the City. The concerns expressed have caused the City to undertake preliminary studies through the Health Department regarding the "state of the health" of the City relating to various environmental factors. Such studies conducted by the City and other agencies are ongoing.

    Nothing in this memorandum is meant to suggest that such studies are not vital to the continued well being of the City. Likewise, this memo does not suggest that further independent studies of the Airport relating to noise or air pollution are unwarranted. However, under CEQA, such independent studies would not be proper topics to be included in an EIR for the type of project that has been proposed.

    If you should require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Concession Requirements ANALYSIS
    Reduced Size Alternatives


    September 8, 2004
    Prepared by
    HNTB -- Concession Requirements Analysis
    Reduced Size Alternatives
    Long Beach Airport

    Space requirements for terminal concessions are not calculated in the same manner as other requirements for an airport. The terminal retail industry has changed and evolved in the last 10-15 years, and because much has been learned about the behavior patterns of travelers and other airport users, space requirements are based on these behaviors. In fact, these behaviors are critically important when assessing the impact of purposely under-sizing a concessions program, because undersized programs themselves have the power to change the behavior of otherwise typical passengers.

    In order to accurately determine the impact of purposely under-sizing the concessions program for Long Beach Airport (LGB), two distinct alternatives were evaluated. Each was based on the SRFP, which is presented in some additional detail below.

    Concessions in the SRFP

    Concession space requirements are based on inputs for passenger-spend rates, the pricing of food and merchandise, and passengers’ available time for dining and shopping. Industry standards are modified based on an analysis of existing patterns, then applied to forecasts of passenger activity to determine future requirements. Because facility requirements are determined on an unconstrained basis, it is important to establish input criteria under the assumption that future concession space will be available wherever it is required, and be of the appropriate size.

    The SRFP estimated the concessions space requirements on the whole. Prior to changing the input criteria to address the reduced size alternatives, it was necessary to estimate the space requirements for each concession type, which are provided below:

    Concession TypeTotal Requirement (Sq Ft)Sales per Enplanement
    Specialty Retail4,668$1.43

    Note: Sales and revenue from Services are typically minimal.

    It is from these estimates that Reduced-size Alternatives 1 and 2 can be developed. The alternatives are described below:

    Alternative 1

    There is a fundamental difference between specialty retail concessions and other types. In general, specialty retail does not serve a need for passengers -- it represents discretionary spending, or what people want rather than need. As a traveler, you need to be able to get food, a newspaper, sundries, etc. Therefore, in determining ways to define a reduced size alternative, the most logical direction to take is to reduce or eliminate specialty retail. Eliminating it has no measurable impact on food/beverage or news/convenience sales. Because storage/office space is a function of the other program elements, it is reduced accordingly. The resulting program for this alternative is as follows:

    Concession TypeTotal Requirement (Sq Ft)Sales per Enplanement
    Specialty Retail0$0.00

    Note: Sales and revenue from Services are typically minimal.

    It is important to note that Alternative #1 has a corresponding reduction in revenue anticipated for the City. Rent revenue from concessions is typically received as a percentage of gross sales. For specialty retail, this percentage is often as high as 15%-16%. The elimination of specialty retail would be expected to reduce rent revenue to the City of approximately $500,000 per year for the first 7-10 years of the program.

    Alternative 2

    In addition to reducing or eliminating specialty retail, reductions in concessions program size can be obtained by reducing the size of the food/beverage program. The reductions can be gained by eliminating some or all of the food/beverage seating areas, leaving the operational program intact and forcing all food to be eaten in holdrooms or carried on aircraft. Because storage/office space is a function of the other program elements, it is reduced accordingly. Developing food/beverage in this manner yields the following results:

    Overall food/beverage sales will be below the sales levels that would be achieved in the SRFP or Alternative #1. Some patrons will refuse to eat or drink without seating, and many others will spend considerably less on alcohol in the post-Security environment. Maintenance and janitorial expenses will rise, due to the increased levels of food and trash in holdrooms.

    Customer service levels will be reduced.

    The resulting program for this alternative is as follows:

    Concession TypeTotal Requirement (Sq Ft)Sales per Enplanement
    Specialty Retail0$0.00

    Note: Sales and revenue from Services are typically minimal.

    The reduction in food/beverage sales will yield approximately $200,000 less in rent revenue to the City than in Alternative #1, and $700,000 less than in the SRFP.

    There are several assumptions/factors to be considered in this analysis:

    At this master plan level of detail, some analyses typically performed in the development of a concessions program are not performed. If these requirements are to be used in additional concessions planning, further refinement would be required.

    It is also important to note that, as described previously, specialty retail requirements are not absolute figures. The right program, designed to attract the maximum number of passengers, could be significantly larger than that described in the SRFP.

    None of the space totals in this paper should be construed as an optimum amount of concessions. No such figure exists. It can be stated that the SRFP, when compared only to the alternatives in this paper, would provide both the highest revenue to the City and the highest level of customer service to LGB users.

    While there is an implicit assumption that the alternatives presume reductions in space from the post-Security environment (presumes all pre-Security concessions remain in any event), this paper does not suggest an optimum split of pre- and post-Security concessions. No such split exists. It can be stated that if this project were to build a terminal and concourses from scratch, a large, pre-Security restaurant would not likely be recommended. Additional analysis would be required to determine splits that could serve the customer well.



    September 8, 2004

    Prepared by



    At the request of the AAC, alternative potential reductions in the SRFP were identified and explored by the City’s airport planning consultant, HNTB. Moderate reductions were classified as "Alternative 1" and worse-case reductions were classified as "Alternative 2". These alternative reductions are quantified in the attached table and are described in detail below, along with a brief statement of the impacts associated with each reduction. The alternative reductions are for consideration only, and do not represent a recommendation of the consultant, as each reduction would compromise airport operations and passenger level of service.


    The components of the holdrooms in the SRFP -- departure lounges, circulation and restrooms -- were sized to provide an industry-average level of service, which would alleviate current overcrowding and congestion and provide adequate capacity to accommodate the permitted commuter flight activity. The reduced-size alternatives consider reduction of these areas which would result in lower levels of service, approaching or matching the conditions that exist today.

    Alternative 1: Reduce the holdroom size so that the average general circulation aisle width is only 14 feet rather than the 20 feet assumed in the SRFP. This would reduce the SRFP holdroom area by 2,880 square feet.

    Impacts: While 14 feet would theoretically allow two passengers with carry-on luggage to walk side by side in each direction at the same time, 14 feet of circulation width is significantly below the industry-recommended minimum of 20 feet, resulting in added congestion and more frequent interruptions of the flow of passengers through the holdroom facility. Interruptions of flow would occur when passengers move too slowly, pause or stand in the circulation aisle, blocking the movement of other passengers. Passengers tend to congregate near security checkpoints, restrooms, concessions and boarding gate queues, reducing the general circulation aisle’s effective width and obstructing passenger flow.

    Alternative 2: Reduce the holdroom size to an area that matches today’s square feet per peak hour originating passenger ratio. Current square feet per peak hour originating passenger is 25.55 compared to 30.42 in the SRFP for Scenario 1. In Scenario 1, the number of peak hour originating passengers is 1,083 compared to 769 today. Matching the current ratio would result in a total holdroom area of 27,671 square feet, a reduction of 5,279 square feet from the 32,950 square feet in the SRFP. In Alternative 2, the departure lounge for each gate drops to the most minimum size in the industry, and the average circulation aisle width reduces to 11.6 feet, well below the industry minimum standard of 20 feet.

    Impacts: This reduction would result in holdroom facilities that are as crowded and congested during peak periods as they are in the temporary holdrooms today, perpetuating the circulation problems of today and continuing a poor level of service to the passengers. In fact, the circulation problems could be even worse because there will be more gates arranged in a row, creating an accumulation of passengers at the major entry and exit points.

    Passenger Security Screening

    The square footage required for passenger security screening is dependent upon the requirements and guidelines of the Transportation Security Administration. The SRFP is based on typical TSA passenger screening checkpoint layouts and processing rates. Therefore, a reduction in size from the SRFP is not recommended.

    Concession Area

    The concession area in the SRFP is estimated based on a preliminary concession area planning factor that assumes an assortment of retail offerings, a typical airport concessions layout, and an opportunity for maximized revenue to the Airport. The reduced-size alternatives consider concession areas that a) limit the number and type of retail offerings, b) and restrict the type of concession service (seating for food service, for example), or c) some combination of both. All reductions impact the level of customer service and concessions revenue to the Airport.

    Alternative 1: Eliminate specialty retail offerings from the concessions program. This restriction would reduce the total program to 19,860 square feet, which is 5,600 square feet less than the SRFP. Since 5,460 square feet of the total program is existing non-secure concessions, only 14,400 square feet of concessions would remain to serve the holdroom areas.

    Impacts: Passengers using the Airport require food/beverage and news/gift concessions more than specialty retail offerings. As with other U.S. airports, the inclusion of specialty retail depends on the availability of excess space. This alternative presumes no such excess space, while still accommodating the necessary food/beverage and news/gift concessions, plus an allotment for service concessions such as shoeshine, ATM and business services. Elimination of specialty retail would reduce rent revenue to the Airport by approximately $500,000 per year (a reduction of about 28%) compared to the SRFP.

    Alternative 2: In addition to the elimination of specialty retail, eliminate seating from most food/beverage concessions. These restrictions would reduce the total program to 15,001 square feet, which is 10,459 square feet less than the SRFP. Since 5,460 square feet of the total program is existing non-secure concessions, only 9,541 square feet of concessions would remain to serve the holdroom areas.

    Impacts: Eliminating seating from most food/beverage concepts would force them to be ‘grab-n-go’ or quick serve concepts. Reducing seating, together with the elimination of specialty retail, would not only seriously impact the level of customer service, but would reduce rent revenue to the Airport by approximately $700,000 per year (a reduction of about 39%) compared to the SRFP. Also, reducing food/beverage seating areas forces passengers to eat/drink in the holdroom areas, where food/drink spills and left-over items create a greater burden on Airport maintenance staff, adding to the Airport’s maintenance costs.

    Baggage Security Screening

    The size required for baggage security screening is dependent upon requirements and guidelines of the Transportation Security Administration, and current industry technology. The size provided for in the SRFP is based on a design by TSA consultants for future improvements to the baggage screening process at the Long Beach Airport. Therefore, a reduction in size from the SRFP is not recommended.

    Baggage Claim Devices

    The minimum number of linear feet required for the forecast passenger arrivals was utilized in the SRFP. Reducing that number would cause delays in the airline delivery and passenger retrieval of baggage, not only inconveniencing passengers but also resulting in safety and security concerns as the baggage claim areas would become overcrowded. As the recommended number of bag claim devices and baggage claim area does not add capacity or draw passengers to the Airport, it is recommended that the size of the bag claim devices not be reduced.

    Baggage Service Office

    The baggage service office provides a secure location for airlines to lock-up baggage unclaimed or left behind by passengers and a location to assist passengers with filing reports for lost luggage. The square footage provided in the SRFP is only 900 square feet. As the size of the baggage service office does not add capacity or draw passengers to the Airport, it is recommended that the size of the bag claim devices not be reduced.

    Restrooms (Non-Secure)

    There is currently a shortage of restrooms on the non-secure side of the Terminal facilities as the majority of the existing restrooms are in the secure holdrooms. The restrooms in the holdrooms are not available to all employees, passenger meeters/greeters, and, in some cases, deplaning passengers. As the number of restrooms (non-secure) does not add capacity or draw passengers to the Airport, it is recommended that the number in the SRFP not be reduced.

    Multi-Purpose Rooms

    The Terminal area currently does not have any meeting rooms that can seat more than six people. To accommodate many meetings, staff must hold meetings off-site. In addition, a room is desired on-site for security debriefings and for safety and security training. The square footage provided in the SRFP for a multi-purpose room on the non-secure side of the Terminal area is only 300 square feet. As the size of the multi-purpose room does not add capacity or draw passengers to the Airport, it is recommended that the size of the multi-purpose room not be reduced.

    Office Space

    Currently, office space in temporary trailers is held by both the TSA and airlines. The SRFP provided for the elimination of the temporary trailers and constructing larger size offices in the overall amount of square footage estimated to be the required space by TSA (13,500 square feet) and the airlines (10,000 square feet).

    The reduced-size alternatives consider reduction of the square footage in the Terminal area to that amount of estimated square footage that is necessary to be in the Terminal area because of its function (i.e., break room for TSA employees; ground crew base for airlines). Additional required office space would have to be found by the TSA or airlines off-site or at adjacent leaseholds.

    No reduction to the square footage for Airport office space is recommended. The number was reduced in the SRFP to 5,000 square feet from the 10,000 square feet that was included in the Notice of Preparation. The 5,000 square feet is considered the lowest practical minimum and would include additional staff offices, security officer locker rooms, and space requested by the Long Beach Police.

    Alternative 1: Restrict TSA office space and airline operations office space at the terminal to one half of the SRFP values: 6,750 and 5,000 square feet, respectively. This would reduce the total office space at the terminal by 11,750 square feet.

    Impacts: Restricting the TSA office space to 6,750 square feet at the terminal may not meet current or future TSA standards and may require certain TSA office facilities to be located remote from the terminal. TSA standards for terminal office space are not currently available to consultants and the public. TSA office space requirements vary widely from airport to airport.

    Restricting the airline operations office space to 5,000 square feet would allow only the more essential airline operations office functions to occur at the terminal, such as flight operations, flight crew facilities, and ramp service personnel ready/break rooms. Office space shortfalls would have to occur in facilities remote from the terminal. The 5,000 square feet for airline operations offices is only 0.00235 square feet per forecast annual enplanement under Scenario 1, which is 22% below the typical lowest value in the industry. In the industry, airline operations space typically ranges between 0.003 to 0.020 square feet per annual enplanement; therefore, Alternative 1 would put unusual facility restrictions on the airlines serving LGB.

    Alternative 2: Provide TSA office space and airline operations space at the terminal based on increases from their current sizes that match the percentage growth in annual passengers from current levels to forecast Scenario 1 level. This percentage growth from current 2,950,595 to 4,255,163 passengers is 44.2%. Using this formula, the TSA space would grow from 3,600 square feet to 5,191 square feet, compared to 13,500 square feet in the SRFP. The airline operations space would grow from 2,000 square feet to 2,884 square feet, compared to 10,000 square feet in the SRFP. An estimated additional 900 square feet of airline operations space would be needed by new entrant commuter carriers, bringing the total airline operations space at the terminal to 3,784 square feet. These reductions in TSA and airline operations space at the terminal would total 14,525 square feet.

    Impacts: This reduction would restrict the amount of office space in the terminal for TSA and the airlines to 5,191 and 3,784 square feet, respectively. The reduced TSA area may not meet current or future TSA standards, which are currently unavailable to consultants and the public. The reduced airline operations office space is well below the range of operations space typical in the industry. Office space shortfalls would have to be provided in facilities remote from the terminal. This restriction would potentially result in hardship to TSA and the airlines due to the operational inefficiencies associated with remote facilities, such as required additional staffing, lost time and expense in traveling between remote facilities and the terminal, and longer service response times.

    Ticketing Facilities

    The ticketing area in the SRFP includes space for the ticket counters, passenger queuing in front of the counters, and circulation space in the ticketing lobby. The ticket counter length is based on the current high utilization factor applied to the forecast passenger activity, plus 32 feet of additional length to accommodate forecast future commuter airlines. Specifically, the ticket counter length is allowed to grow in direct proportion to the forecast increase in peak hour originating passengers, plus an additional 32 feet to physically accommodate new commuter carrier ticket counters. The recommended queuing and circulation spaces are based on minimum planning factors applied to the recommended counter length. Because the counter length and associated queuing and circulation areas are already sized to minimum standards, no reduction is recommended.

    Aircraft Gates

    The forecast prepared by HNTB indicates that for the 41 commercial flights and 25 commuter flights, 11 gates will be needed. This number is dependent on the forecasted number of flights for the peak hour and not the square footage of the facility or convenience of the passenger. Therefore, it is recommended that this number not be reduced.

    Aircraft Parking Positions

    The forecast prepared by HNTB indicates that for the 41 commercial flights and 25 commuter flights, 16 parking positions are required during the peak hour. This number includes both a parking position for a spare aircraft and a parking position for an off-schedule aircraft. These two positions could be eliminated, but not without impact to Airport and airline operations.

    Alternatives 1 and 2: Eliminate the off-schedule and/or spare aircraft parking positions.

    Impacts: The off-schedule aircraft parking position in the SRFP is intended to accommodate aircraft that arrive earlier or later than scheduled, at a time when all gates are occupied by other scheduled aircraft. Without this special parking position at the terminal, when all gates are occupied, off-schedule aircraft would have to be held at a remote position on the airfield until a gate becomes available. Such remote positions in the industry are sometimes referred to as "penalty boxes" and result in passenger and flight crew frustration, wasted aircraft fuel, and additional air pollution and noise. Problems would extend to the terminal landside, where meeting parties would have to wait longer, adding congestion to the arrivals areas and roadway curb. Approximately 10% of arriving aircraft at LGB are off-schedule, and rely on an off-schedule parking position.

    The spare aircraft parking position in the SRFP is intended to accommodate a spare aircraft at the terminal, which can be immediately substituted for a scheduled aircraft in the event an aircraft does not arrive as scheduled or an aircraft cannot depart the gate due to a mechanical failure. Having the spare aircraft parked at the terminal rather than remote, passengers can safely and more expeditiously board the aircraft so the aircraft can depart closer to its scheduled departure time. This is very important to enable aircraft to depart before the nightly curfew. Elimination of the spare parking position would have adverse effects on airport and airline operations: 1) it would take longer to substitute a new aircraft for one that has a mechanical problem at the gate, adding cost and increased passenger frustration; 2) longer aircraft substitution times would lead to certain flights departing later in the evening, adding to late evening noise; 3) there is added pollution, noise and safety issues related to the towing or taxiing of replacement aircraft from remote airfield positions to the terminal; and 4) the airline that relies on the spare parking position has to meet certain schedule windows at other airports and would therefore suffer economically if the spare parking position were not available.

    Vehicle Parking

    To eliminate off-site parking and the need for shuttles, it is recommended that the number of vehicle parking spaces to be provided in the new parking structure, not be reduced, but remain as indicated in the SRFP.

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