Long Beach Airport Festival


Long Beach Airport Festival of Flight

November 17, 2018


By C. MacDonald

Long Beach Airport Fly-In Fascinates 2,000

The Long Beach Airport's recent Fly-In brought joy to more than 2,000 gleeful people, who got to climb on a variety of aircraft and enjoy the setting of stationary planes, while F-18 military jets and commercial liners roared by on nearby runways. It was a thrilling experience for adults and kids to see a variety of craft up-close--from a Russian-built biplane (Antonob-2) to a Navy T-6 World War II trainer (Daisy Pearl") to a gigantic Air Force C-17 transport (built by Boeing right here) to the tiny Chipmunk" plane, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's helicopter and much more.

It was appropriate that legendary helicopter traffic reporter/pilot Chuck Street (formerly for KTLA-TV and Kiis FM) was the master of ceremonies at the fun event on Taxi Way B. The popular Street said he learned to fly his first helicopter at the airport 35 years ago. The event not only showed off a variety of airborne objects but the importance of the airport, which dates from 1923 but recently went through a major renovation for the 3 million commercial airline passengers, employees and airlines.

It's a major economic engine for Long Beach and the over 200 businesses in and around it," said Reggie Harrison, Deputy City Manager and Acting Airport Director.

Long Beach has a $3 billion annual budget and the airport and port play a major role in helping us grow and be successful," said Councilwoman Stacy Mungo, a Long Beach native, whose district includes the facility.

Art and Chris Brown really enjoyed the show. Although he's the Mayor Pro-Tem of Buena Park and she is the President of the Buena Park Historical Society and a member of the Savanna School District board, they both are in The Friends of the Long Beach Airport. "We love coming to the fly-in," said Chris, who used to work nearby. "Art likes to test me on the types of planes that I saw landing here for years."

Billy Barnes, 9, of Long Beach, said he liked the free posters, whistles, stickers, pom-poms and other neat things that were given away at the free event, which even had free parking. There were tasty food trucks, entertainment and very interesting displays and information from the Aquarium of the Pacific, Boeing, Paradies (shops and restaurants), Transportation Security Administration, American Red Cross, Miller Children's Hospital, Jet Blue and others.

Thanks to the Long Beach Airport, their sponsors and the city for having such a diverse group of aircraft fly-in for this fascinating and much-appreciated annual event. The airport has come a long way from the 1920s, when the only airport in Long Beach was the city's huge beach. In 1923, the City Council set aside 150 acres (near Spring and Cherry) that became known as Daugherty Field, after one of the local pioneer aviators, Earl Daugherty. It would become the first municipal airport to serve Southern California. Today, it has more than 1,166 acres and 5 runways but still maintains that hometown, friendly feel. You can check out its newsletter at LongBeachAirport.blogspot.com.

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