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Bob Hope Airport ready for landing

November 05, 2003

Ryan Carter

Bob Hope flew into and out of many an airport in his day, but the

Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport was closest to his home in Toluca

Lake. Now, the airport is likely to bear the legendary entertainer's

name before the end of the year.

The Airport Authority on Monday unanimously approved an agreement

with Hope's family to rename the facility the Bob Hope Airport,

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paving the way for a deciding vote by the Joint Powers Authority.

"There couldn't be a more deserving individual than Mr. Bob

Hope," Burbank Airport Commissioner Don Brown said Monday, adding

that renaming the facility would be historic because only a few

airports in California are named after individuals.

All that is left is approval of the name change from the cities of

Glendale, Burbank and Pasadena. If all goes according to plan, the

name change could be dedicated Dec. 17 -- the 100-year anniversary

of flight.

"It's an absolute thrill," said Linda Hope, Bob Hope's daughter,

who attended Monday's authority meeting. "It is such a meaningful

tribute to my dad. Burbank has been like home for him."

Hope, who died July 27 at 100, was a longtime resident of Toluca

Lake, and traveled to and from Burbank Airport many times. He even

had his own jet based there in his later years, his daughter said.

City Council members from each of the three cities support

renaming the airport.

"To me, I don't mind if it's called Bob Hope Airport, just like

John Wayne Airport was named after John Wayne," Councilman Bob

Yousefian said Monday. "It's just a name."

Airport officials have said the estimated cost to change the name

of the airport will be $250,000. The changeover will include new

signage, a possible sign on the airport's control tower and a

fund-raising gala, which would be held next year.

Former Burbank mayor Michael Hastings, who proposed the name

change on behalf of the Hope family, and who is working with the

authority to make it a reality, told the authority Monday that Hope

Enterprises and NBC, which aired Hope's television specials, would

provide much of the funding. No money would be expected from the

three cities, he said.

"We're equally excited, and whatever we have to do to make it

work, we'll do it," Hastings said.

After some discussion Monday by the authority and a vote, the

small audience and the commissioners broke into applause.

"The Burbank Airport is home, and home is where the heart is,"

Linda Hope said.

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