KLGB has a 10:00 p.m. curfew thanks to a rather contentious ordinance that has been in place for quite some time. Any airline that violates it gets fined and the amounts get progressively higher if there are more than a certain amount within a prescribed time. The City of Long Beach has the option of prosecuting a court action if an airline is too egregious in its actions.
Recently, Jet Blue tried to get the city to approve a customs facility at KLGB but the backwards NIMBYs managed to intimidate the amateur city council members into shelving the idea. The same NIMBYs constantly whine about any and all perceived slights caused by the airport, up to and including just the mere facts it exists, despite the fact if not for the airport and the trade and commerce it has brought in over decades, the city itself would be a vastly different entity. Just last week, a very green city council member proposed upping the fines incurred by the airlines for operating past curfew saying the $178K Jet Blue paid last month wasn’t enough to assuage the fragile psyches of his constituency. The money goes to the city’s library fund and other charities.
So here’s my question- with all that in mind (and Jet Blue is keenly aware of all of it), why in the world would they dispatch a plane from KSFO at 2:00 a.m. to have it land at KLGB at 3:30 a.m., when the airport is closed save for emergencies from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.? Moreover, this plane never got above 8900 feet the entire time. A normal flight from SFO to LGB usually gets to 29,00 feet. This particular plane had sat at SFO since Thursday night before leaving early Saturday morning, so it doesn’t immediately suggest just a late flight. Residents AND the city are already lighting up social media about it and it only landed about four hours ago. What gives here?