The City Council has approved expansion of the baggage-claim facility at Long Beach Airport, despite one councilman’s warning that it would broadcast “the wrong message” about airport growth.
The council voted 8 to 1 Tuesday to authorize the city manager to accept bids for the project, which is expected to cost about $190,000.
Councilman Edd Tuttle, a longtime critic of airport noise, opposed the expansion, saying it gives the appearance that city officials want more flights at the airport.
Other council members, however, argued that the expansion needs to go forward to improve conditions for passengers, who sometimes have to wait up to an hour for their bags.
A federal judge has set a ceiling of 18 flights a day at the airport. A federally financed study is being conducted to determine how many flights should be allowed at the airport. Tuttle has maintained that additional flights would have a harmful effect on residents of his 8th District, which sits below the airport flight path.
Raymond Holland, city public works director, said in a written report to the council that the baggage facility is too small, causing “congestion and delays in handling the baggage.”
The project will involve construction of an additional canopy roof to double the size of the existing baggage-claim area, Holland said.