- During the early 1920s, the only airport in Long Beach was the City’s huge, crescent shaped beach. Earl Daugherty opened a flight training school for bi-wings aircraft near Long Beach Blvd. and Willow Ave.
- In 1923, the Long Beach City Council set aside 150 acres near the intersection of Spring and Cherry Streets for use as an airfield. It was named Daugherty Field after one of Long Beach’s pioneer aviators. It was the first municipal airport to serve Southern California.
- April 7, 1925 - The first airport operator’s lease was issued.
- 1928-30 - Actual airport development of significance began when the City built hangars and administrative facilities for the Navy and Army Corps.
- 1933 – The first known, overall plan for the airport was prepared by the City Engineer. The plan was refined in 1938-39, adopted by the City Council on September 24, 1940, and served to guide the airport development through the World War II period.
- Mid 1930s - Two runways were constructed during the mid 1930’s, the military commenced operations in 1936 and the FAA (Civil Aeronautics Authority) formally activated a control tower.
- During the late 1930s the City working along with the military and civil aviation completed plan to construct Runways 30, 25R, 16L, 25L and the existing Terminal Building. The work was completed in August, 1941.
- 1940 - Groundbreaking for the initial Douglas facility occurred in November. The building was dedicated in October 1941.
- 1941 - Daugherty Field was increased by 500 acres and the Airport Terminal was completed. The terminal, designed by architects W. Horace Austin and Kenneth Wing, has since been designated as a Long Beach Historical Landmark.
- During the late 1940s and 1950s, major land acquisitions included the buffer area between Lakewood Boulevard and Clark Avenue now in use as Skylinks Golf Course, together with adjacent areas along Lakewood Boulevard and south of Spring Street. The airport grew to approximately 1,134 acres by 1965.
- From 1952 through 1960, the main diagonal runway (30/12) was improved and extended 2400’ to the southeast and 700’ to the northwest. These improvements brought the airport to its present size and runway configuration.
- July 1955 – The City approved a plan, financed by general obligation bonds, to extend the diagonal runway (30) to a full 10,000’ and acquire additional clear zone land.
- Between 1982 and 1985, the following improvements were made: - Rehabilitation of Terminal Building utilities - Refurbishment of Terminal Building - 1984, construction of new 16,150 sq. ft. facility including passenger holdroom, security screening area and covered passenger concourse linking the Terminal Building with the new holdroom. The new facility was built to accommodate the use of jets such as the Boeing 737 and Douglas DC-9. - Construction of new, enlarged baggage claim facility - Construction of four-story parking structure with a 1,050-vehicle storage capacity. - Construction of terminal area roadway improvements to add curbside area and transit facilities.
- 1989 – City permitted to implement interim aircraft noise compatibility ordinance, pending appeal process.
- 2009 - Airport begins construction on new parking garage
- 2010 - New terminal groundbreaking