Terminal plan has a shaky takeoff

December 06, 2000

Paul Clinton

AIRPORT DISTRICT -- Frustrated by the city's deliberate review of

their terminal application, Burbank Airport officials unveiled an

alternate proposal Monday to put the building on land the airport already


Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority leaders still hope to

build a 14-gate, 250,000-square-foot terminal on a 130-acre parcel


formerly owned by Lockheed Martin Corp. Their application is on file in

City Hall.

But airport officials are hedging their bets.

On Monday, the authority unveiled a 14-gate, 250,000-square-foot

terminal that would be built in the airport's southwestern quadrant, now

occupied by several private operators. It's not the most desirable

location, authority spokesman Victor Gill admitted.

"We're not saying this is a wonderful choice," Gill said. "This is

Hobson's choice."

From a field of three finalists, airport officials on Monday picked

consultant Environmental Science Associates to analyze the proposal. The

airport still must negotiate a contract with the firm.

The airport would not be required to get Burbank's approval via the

Public Utilities Code to build the alternative terminal, officials said.

The land under consideration for the terminal already is zoned for

aviation use.

It's unclear whether the alternative proposal, if it moves forward,

would require ratification by Burbank voters, who approved Measure B on

Nov. 7. The measure requires the city to seek public approval of any

terminal deal with the airport.

City Manager Bud Ovrom, who said he hadn't seen the proposal, said it

was an end run around the city approval process.

"They're looking for a way to cut the city out of the process," Ovrom

said. "But that's going to be hard to do. We're in this for the long


The authority's governing board, made up of nine commissioners from

the three cities, approved selection of the consultant with a 7-0 vote.

Airport commissioners Phil Berlin and Ingolf Klengler, both of Burbank,


Berlin, contacted Monday afternoon, said the airport should focus its

efforts on examining the traffic, noise and other environmental effects

of the current terminal proposal, which pinpoints Lockheed's former Plant

B-6 for construction. City officials have indicated the airport could be

required to perform additional environmental review.

Berlin, who said the airport is relying on a 12-year-old environmental

impact report, said the selection of the consultant wasn't thoroughly


"It really could have waited," Berlin said. "They need to update stale

environmental information on the B-6 proposal."

The current proposal could fall by the wayside if the airport sells

the B-6 land. Airport officials will begin marketing the land in January,

something they agreed to in an August 1999 escrow deal with Burbank.

So far, the airport and city have been unable to pin down a compromise

position that would allow the terminal to be built.

The alternative proposal shouldn't even be considered, Burbank Airport

Commissioner Charles Lombardo said.

"We're not going to build anything on an alternative site," Lombardo

said. "It's such a game, wasting time and money."

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