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Community Commentary:

Curfew at airport is overdue

June 18, 2008|By Rose M. Prouser

An open letter to the Federal Aviation Administration:

It is a rare opportunity and certain responsibility that brings us to this point in time.

The residents of Burbank have a history with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport — a history of doublespeak and expansion over and over again, even while being promised that “all is well.”

It goes all the way back to the 1970s, the beginning of the joint-powers agreement and the “founding” of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, where the residents were promised caps on passengers and caps on flights.

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All these years, the operators of this airport clamored to the people that the terminal must be moved and greatly expanded. They cried “unsafe” even while the FAA certified this airport as safe year after year, and even up to this date.

And just months ago, they barged into a so-called security expansion project crying “explicit mandate” even though the national head of the Transportation Security Administration said no such mandate had been issued (“Letter questions baggage facility,” March 6).

So it is with much skepticism that many in the city view this Part 161 Study.

Because no matter the facts, this airport has mostly done as it has pleased, in spite of real evidence to the contrary, over and over again.

The history of this airport’s bad behavior is germane to the current Part 161 Study.

We must keep in mind the comments about “dragging your feet” made by the judge in the state’s Caltrans noise variance hearing relating to the promises of a study since 1999 and before.

“The delay in completion of the project is excessive and unjustified,” Administrative Law Judge Samuel Reyes opined in January.

All the noise, the interruptions, the traffic, the pollution, the stress on the infrastructure, the excessive use of water in this state’s drought emergency — those things affect us 24 hours every day, all year, all the time. Couldn’t you at least find us some relief at night?

We could go through a very long list of cost and benefit arguments in detail, although I doubt it would even scratch the surface. A recent newspaper article cites that Van Nuys would get something like 1% of our overnight flights, and they are complaining (“Group opposes airport curfew,” Political Landscape, Saturday).

But keep in mind they are in the process of their own Part 161 Study.

Perhaps they will need to accept none.

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