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FAA urges further study

Approval of curfew for Bob Hope Airport could be delayed for more than a year, according to the aviation agency.

June 18, 2008|By Jeremy Oberstein

AIRPORT DISTRICT — Approval of a nighttime curfew at Bob Hope Airport could be delayed by at least a year and a half because of a Federal Aviation Administration recommendation for further study, despite overwhelming community support for the proposed ban, airport officials said Monday.

The proposed curfew would ground most departures and arrivals at the airport from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., with exceptions for military personnel and allowances for flights dogged by emergencies or planes delayed by up to an hour by inclement weather.

The FAA issued its comments last week, coinciding with the closure of a 75-day public comment period Friday and coming amid a flurry of opposition from other government entities, including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city of El Segundo and Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport and airports in Ontario, Van Nuys and Palmdale.

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“An environmental assessment should be prepared,” wrote D. Kirk Shaffer, administrator for airports with the FAA. “The proposed restriction would generate noise and air quality impacts at other nearby airports, and is likely to be controversial on environmental grounds.”

Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority officials projected that more than 30 flights would shift to Van Nuys Airport, five to Los Angeles and others to regional airports if the proposed ban on flights from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. is enacted at Bob Hope Airport. But they also said noise impacts would be minimal, and that it is in the best interest of other airport officials to work with the authority on supporting the proposal.

At the airport authority’s meeting Monday morning, Pasadena Commissioner Chris Holden said the authority should hold talks with regional leaders, including Villaraigosa, as future efforts to impose a curfew in Los Angeles could affect their present opposition to Bob Hope’s Part 161 Study, the document that proposes the curfew.

“What’s being laid out here is a death sentence for their potential 161 as well,” he said. “Clearly at another point they are going to need us to sign off on theirs. It would seem the FAA is laying out the argument now for what could be used later against their effort. They need to understand that.”

LAX and Van Nuys Airport have submitted draft documents for proposed curfews there, officials said.

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