Long Beach Airport has very little passenger service compared with the dominant
Los Angeles International Airport
(LAX) approximately 18 miles (29 km) to the northwest, and will always remain a relatively small airport because of restrictive ordinances adopted to minimize noise in the residential neighborhoods near LGB. The airport is under one of the strictest ordinances in the
on both airport noise and the number of commercial flights. The current noise levels allow for 41 daily commercial flights and 25 commuter flights. Local community groups and activists are very vocal about any changes at the airport.
At the same time, the arrival of low-cost carrier
Airways at Long Beach Airport in 2001, and that airline's decision to establish a West Coast hub at LGB, has substantially increased the air traffic to the airport and has cemented LGB's standing as a viable alternative to LAX for flights from the
area to major East Coast cities. While
used the local noise ordinance to turn Long Beach Airport into a miniature
, it quickly reached maximum capacity and has since been forced to rework flight schedules and direct future growth to other
Los Angeles area airports. JetBlue calls LGB a
. Long Beach to San Diego Airport.