Airport to pursue alternate mandatory curfew

March 15, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

AIRPORT DISTRICT — Five months after federal officials rejected a nine-year, multimillion-dollar application for nighttime flight restrictions, Bob Hope Airport officials on Monday announced plans to possibly make mandatory the current voluntary curfew.

Joyce Streator, president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, made the announcement Monday, saying the authority has begun discussions with airlines on converting the existing voluntary nighttime curfew between 10 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. into a permanent mandatory restriction for all passenger-air carriers.

“If these negotiations identify realistic and promising mechanisms for obtaining noise relief, the authority will begin a consensus-building process encompassing all of the various stakeholders, including the cities of Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena and Los Angeles; the residents and voters of the communities directly impacted by airport operations; the FAA; and the airlines,” Streator said.


This consensus-building process would publicly evaluate noise relief mechanisms, their costs and benefits, as well as seek public input, she added. The airport authority also expressed support for a long-discussed San Fernando Valley-wide approach to limiting nighttime noise from nonscheduled airline aircraft operations, and pursuing legislation to do it.

“I think it’s a good idea because both Van Nuys [Airport] and Bob Hope [Airport] impact multiple neighborhoods so we have to work together to try to give the residents some relief,” airport commissioner and Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero said.

A consensus-building effort provides stakeholders an opportunity to also address traffic in eastern stretches of the San Fernando Valley, commissioners said.

“We believe that the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena tri-city area is underserved by public transportation, and that the airport can become a catalyst to help spur improvements in public transportation and reduce traffic congestion in a variety of ways,” Streator said.

Plans include locating a possible train station near Hollywood Way and San Fernando Road for high-speed rail service from Los Angeles to Northern California, and extending the Orange Line that currently stops at the North Hollywood Red Line Station.

“It would greatly reduce traffic congestion in Burbank,” Quintero said.

In denying the airport’s request for a ban on most air traffic at the airport between 10 p.m. and 6:59 a.m., FAA officials determined such a move would harm the national air traffic system, and pointed to other steps the authority could take short of being granted a curfew.

In response, the airport renewed its pledge to study to reinforce ongoing noise-mitigation measures. The new study would serve as the basis for future grants from the FAA and define which areas are eligible for noise-abatement upgrades. The program has provided more than $80 million to insulate roughly 1,650 structures since 1997.

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