It is expected to be operating within 90 days, Airport Authority
spokesman Victor Gill said.
The system, which residents will be able to access from their home
computers, uses color coding to show which planes are arriving or
departing Burbank, and which are related to other airports within a
150-mile radius. Los Angeles International Airport uses the same
technology to track its planes.
"This will give us a new tool to communicate with the general
public about aircraft flights," Gill said. "Many times people call in
with a question or a complaint where it's hard to pin down what
specific aircraft might have been involved. Now we'll have that
The airport receives about 1,500 calls yearly, usually complaints
about night flights that break the airport's voluntary curfew, or
daytime flights people consider too loud, Gill said.
"I think it's an excellent innovation," airport activist Don
Elsmore said. "In the past, people would make phone requests of the
airport and it would take clerical staff some time to assemble it.
[This] is absolute, it's coming right out of [Federal Aviation
Administration] tracking -- so there's no intermediary to interpret
Because PASSUR does not measure noise, it will work in tandem with
the airport's noise-monitoring system.
The improved technology will also give the airport data that will
improve its ability to collect landing fees, Gill said.
The existing system costs the airport $19,000 annually and is not
available online. It will be replaced by the new one, which will cost
$30,000 to install and $34,500 annually to operate.
Residents should not assume the change will help facilitate caps
on flights or a curfew, which can only be granted by the FAA, Elsmore
While the system is likely to satisfy people's curiosity as to
just how low a plane flew, "it won't diminish the number of
incidents," Elsmore said.