A Southwest flight departs Long Beach Airport. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Long Beach Airport is one of four airports in California to receive new funding from the federal Airport Terminal Fund in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the White House and Federal Aviation Administration announced today.

Officials are awarding 85 airports a total of nearly $1 billion from the fund, which aims to update the aging infrastructure of airports across the country. LGB is slated to receive $10.6 million.

“Americans deserve modern airports that meet the needs of their families and growing passenger demand,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a release announcing the funding. “Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, today’s grants will improve airport terminals while also creating good jobs in communities across the country,”

Long Beach Airport plans to use the money to help fund the terminal roadway improvements within the larger Phase II Terminal Area Improvement Program.

“We are delighted that the Federal Aviation Administration recognized the value of LGB’s modernization program and awarded funding to complete terminal roadway improvements,” Airport Director Cynthia Guidry said in a statement. “This project will improve passenger flow on the terminal loop and will provide critical access improvements for people with disabilities or mobility challenges.”

The terminal roadways will be repaved and reconfigured, which will allow for a realignment of the loop, according to fund details on the FAA’s website.

Long Beach Airport spokesperson Kate Kuykendall said that accessibility upgrades will include:

  • Improvements to the curb cuts, ramps, signage, handrails and other features at drop-off and pick-up sites;
  • The installation of audible warning detection systems at pedestrian crossings;
  • Carving out safe paths of travel for customers with mobility challenges to the airport’s parking and public transit facilities; and
  • The construction of a designated transit stop for service providers such as Long Beach Transit and Dial-A-Ride.

“Our Donald Douglas Drive loop could definitely use some improvements to improve the passenger flow and to improve access for people with disabilities or other mobility challenges,” Kuykendall said.

Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law in November. It allocates about $550 billion in new spending to transit projects such as improving roads, bridges, railways, ports and waterways and public transit. The San Pedro Bay ports, like Long Beach Airport, have benefitted from the funding.

Overall, about $25 billion in total will be allocated to airports from the act.

Christian May-Suzuki

Christian May-Suzuki is a reporter at the Long Beach Business Journal.