The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday night rejected a plan for international flights at Long Beach Airport, throwing JetBlue Airways future flight plans for the airport into disarray.

The Long Beach Press Telegram reported the Council voted 8 to 1 to reject the plan to fund the construction of a U.S. Customs and federal inspection facility, a necessary precursor to allowing carriers to offer international flights. JetBlue Airways of had petitioned the city to open up the airport to international flights; the Long Island City, NY-based carrier had planned to use its existing hub there to offer flights to Mexico.

City and airport staff had recommended approval for construction of the Customs/inspection facility, citing a feasibility study saying the proposed $20 million construction cost would be more than offset by additional revenues and tourist dollars coming into the city.

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After the council vote, Rob Land, senior vice president of government affairs for JetBlue told the Press Telegram that the carrier will “evaluate its future plans for Long Beach, the Greater Los Angeles area and California.” JetBlue is currently the airport’s largest carrier.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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