With room to grow, Long Beach Airport has offered
Long Beach Airport, one of the region's smallest commercial airports, also offered JetBlue Airways three daily slots and
Southwest, which serves four other airports in Southern California, had requested nine daily slots at Long Beach. An airline official said the Dallas-based carrier could begin operations with only four slots, with the hope of adding more flights in the future.
The flight slots became available when recent noise studies confirmed that Long Beach Airport could add nine daily flights without violating the city's strict noise ordinance.
The airport handled about 2.5 million passengers in 2015, a 10% drop from 2014. By comparison,
Another reason that airport noise has dropped is that most U.S. carriers have invested heavily in newer, quieter jets. Southwest, for example, has ordered 191 737 MAX jets from Boeing, a modern plane described by Boeing as having a 40% smaller "noise footprint" than older planes. (A noise footprint is the area on the ground where noise from a particular aircraft can be heard.)
Southwest will begin to take delivery of the MAX jets next year.
"They are quieter than they've ever been, and the trend will continue," said Brad Hawkins, a spokesman for Southwest.
"No one can offer California what we do on a daily basis, especially with the attractive addition of our low-fare service at Long Beach," he told the workers.
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