City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Long Beach Airport (LGB) redesignated two of its runways to account for natural shifts in the earth’s magnetic field. Effective July 19, Runway 7R-25L is named 8R-26L, and Runway 7L-25R is named 8L-26R. The former is used primarily for general aviation, the latter is LGB’s secondary runway used for commercial and general aviation.
“This is a fairly rare event,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Aerial photographs confirmed the former runway designations were in place for at least 66 years. It may very well be the first time that Long Beach runways have been re-named since they were established.”
Runway numbers are based on magnetic headings. For example, the runways are known as 8-26 because they face 80 degrees on a compass in one direction and 260 degrees in the opposite direction. Since these are parallel runways at Long Beach Airport, they are marked Left and Right appropriately. Pilots and air traffic controllers rely on navigational aids and flight procedures that are based on magnetic heading to find their takeoff and landing runways.
“Runway markings are crucial to airport safety,” said Airport Director Jess Romo, “It takes a tremendous amount of coordination for this undertaking. Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved—our airport facilities, operations and engineering teams, our construction partners, and the FAA—the overnight transition ran smoothly.”
Redesignation construction required extensive coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that the event aligned with the publication of the U.S. Terminal Procedures and Airport Diagram. This is critical to aircraft safety because it ensures that the information provided to pilots is consistent with what is physically in place. Crews worked five consecutive nights while the runways were temporarily closed to update pavement markings and electrical signage to reflect the new runway designations. HNTB Corporation was the designer for the project and All American Asphalt was the general contractor. Jacobs Engineering served as the construction manager.
Both runways officially changed names on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 12:00 a.m.; but only Runway 8L-26R, the north runway, is open to aviation traffic. Runway 8R-26L remains closed as reconstruction to improve pilot safety and pavement conditions continues.
The construction cost to rename the runways is approximately $45,000. Both the redesignation process and the reconstruction of Runway 8R-26L were funded through an FAA grant approved by Long Beach City Council last year. The following is a link to a related press release: http://www.longbeach.gov/press-releases/long-beach-airport-awarded-$15-3-million-grant-to-upgrade-and-rename-runways/.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach AirportFounded in 1923 as the first municipally-owned airport in California, Long Beach Airport (LGB) completed a revitalization in 2012 to update its facilities. A new passenger concourse opened to the public and has since garnered extensive praise for its modern design and architecture, local eateries and easygoing travel experience. Recently, Sunset magazine awarded LGB with a Best of 2017 Travel Award. In addition, USA Today and 10Best.com recognized LGB for Best Airport Dining in their Readers Choice poll. LGB offers non-stop service to several U.S. cities while supporting a healthy general aviation community with over 260,000 annual operations. The airport is also a source of substantial economic activity and employment. Long Beach Airport and its tenants generate more than $10 billion and 45,000 jobs in total economic activity to the Long Beach region with an additional $1.1 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state, and local levels. Long Beach Airport prides itself in maintaining a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible operation. For more news, pictures, videos and announcements of what's happening, "Like" us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @LBAirport and Instagram @lgbairport.