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Bob Hope restrictions eyed

Staff members with the authority plan to present a draft of the document and will seek formal approval from commissioners.

March 15, 2008|By Jeremy Oberstein

BURBANK — The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority will take the first step Monday in what could be a lengthy process to enact a mandatory restriction on night and early morning flights at Bob Hope Airport.

The authority plans to hold a public meeting Monday in the Burbank Airport Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, a last-minute change from the usual confines of the airport’s Sky Room. The venue switch was made to accommodate what could be a crush of community activists who have followed the trajectory of the curfew that would restrict all flights arriving or departing at the airport from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., spokesman Victor Gill said.

“This is a subject that has had some considerable interest over a long period of time and we wanted to allow for the accommodation of any level of interest,” he said. “We set up seating for 100 audience members.”

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The subject is the Part 161 Study that the airport has been working on since 2000.

At the meeting Monday, staff members with the authority plan to present a draft of the document and will seek formal approval from the nine airport commissioners that represent the three cities. They would then kick it back to the public for their input, Gill said.

“The workshop Monday is designed to lay out the basic elements of the study so even a first time person will walk away with a firm grasp of the study and the major points that have allowed us to be in a position to proceed in applying for a full and mandatory curfew,” he said. “We will look for a formal action of the commission to direct staff to proceed.”

If the commission decides to go forward with the curfew, considered a likelihood by most observers, the formal process of submitting plans to the Federal Aviation Administration will begin.

That process includes a 45-day public comment period, a public listening session and a public hearing, Gill said.

“In the final application, we will incorporate public comment that would lead to the adoption of a formal resolution to submit the application to the FAA for a full mandatory curfew,” he said. “That could be by early summer.”

The issue of a curfew has galvanized those who follow airport news and live under the track of departing and arriving planes, including Don Elsmore, who has pushed for a curfew since 1997.

“I’m really looking forward to approval of the study as submitted,” he said. “It’s a vast improvement on anything they’ve ever done in the past. It’s what I’ve been striving for, for 10 years.”

But passage of the study could be in doubt as past correspondences from FAA officials seem to cast doubt on the benefits of the proposed curfew.

A 2004 letter from the Victoria Catlett, an official in the office of airport planning and programming, said the curfew would discriminate against quieter airplanes that do not make as much noise as the rumbling jets that now patrol the night skies.

Elsmore brushed aside such complaints, saying the residents are the real victims.

“This is not discriminatory,” he said. “If anything, it’s discriminatory against us as a neighborhood.”


?JEREMY OBERSTEIN covers City Hall and public safety. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at jeremy.oberstein@ latimes.com.

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