In a 42-page letter released Monday, the FAA ruled that a curfew at Bob Hope unreasonably burdened air traffic and commerce. The letter gave alternatives for dealing with airport noise, leaving room for the authority to challenge the decision in federal court.
“It’s very, very, very disappointing,” Commissioner Don Brown said, “but we’re not giving up.”
The Bob Hope curfew has garnered support from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena city officials, as well as Reps. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village), Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) and Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).
The FAA said the application failed to meet four of six conditions, stating a curfew would hinder business in the air and on the ground.
Schiff said the FAA’s interpretation of the conditions was too stringent.
“We don’t want cities going through this process if the FAA isn’t going to take the statute seriously,” he said.
Sherman added that the FAA’s standards interpreted existing law in such a way that no airport in the country could secure a nighttime curfew.
On Monday he announced legislation to allow Bob Hope and Van Nuys airports to implement mandatory nighttime curfews. It was drafted in conjunction with the city of Burbank and includes a clear exclusion for medical and other emergency flights, affecting only a small number of cargo flights each day or night.
He introduced it in response to the FAA denial, believing that a legislative approach is the best method in light of what happened.
The International Air Cargo Assn., Cargo Airline Assn., National Air Transportation Assn. and Air Transport Assn. of America formally opposed the proposed curfew. Fed Ex and the United Parcel Service also deemed the proposal a burden on interstate commerce.