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Bob Hope Airport seeks to add 'Burbank' to name

Officials say the temporary name change will help travelers know the airport's location.

April 17, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Bob Hope Airport will temporarily become Burbank Bob Hope Airport to attract summer passengers to the area.
Bob Hope Airport will temporarily become Burbank Bob… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Bob Hope Airport will soon be known as Burbank Bob Hope Airport as part of a new summer ad campaign to drive more passengers to the regional airfield during its peak travel time of the year.

The temporary name change comes as officials respond to airline concerns about the lack of a city identifier in the name of the airport, said John Hatanaka, the airport's senior deputy executive director.

Dan Feger, the airport's executive director, said that, for now, the name change was only for the summer advertising campaign.

“Our airport customers don't know where Bob Hope Airport is,” Feger said.

He added that the Hope family recognized back in 2009 that many local residents still called the airfield the Burbank Airport.

“But they understood there should be a linkage between Burbank and the Bob Hope Airport name,” Feger said. “We'll continue to have discussions with the Hope family about this notion of marrying the two concepts together and the reasons why we're going to do that.”

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Feger said an official name change would require a great deal of time, effort and approval by the three respective city councils.

“[It] would far eclipse our ability to do it and still capture the summer traffic,” he said.

The airport has had six different names since its opening in 1930: United Airport, United Air Terminal, Lockheed Air Terminal, Hollywood-Burbank Airport, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport and Bob Hope Airport, which it has been called since 2003.

Airport Commissioner Steve Madison said he doesn't think the airport's brand should just develop itself.

“We should really make the decision to have a brand,” he said. “Everyone in my circles, we just call it Burbank. So I agree that perhaps the Bob Hope legacy hasn't taken root.”

The authority should choose a name that will attract customers, Madison added.

“Choose the brand that is going to help us pursue the message the best,” he said.

Commissioner Chris Holden asked if the ad campaign is being developed too late to capture a large amount of summer travelers.

“[Some families] may have already set their travel plans in motion,” Holden said.

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