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Burbank seeks to write joint letter with airport authority regarding NextGen

After receiving several complaints from residents, the Burbank City Council is looking to send a joint letter with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to voice concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration's latest transportation system, which some residents say is increasing noise at the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

The council unanimously voted on Tuesday to contact its three authority representatives to write a joint letter with the entire nine-member commission and send it to Dan Elwell, acting administrator of the FAA, to make federal officials aware of the concerns raised by residents throughout the past year when the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, was fully implemented in Southern California in March.

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The radar system has been rolling out nationwide as a way to increase safety when airplanes depart and arrive at airports, as well as make the flight paths more efficient in terms of fuel and time.

Burbank resident Audrey Ford, who said she has been monitoring flights coming in and out of Hollywood Burbank Airport for several months, said that she was glad to see the City Council, and hopefully the airport authority, are listening to her and her neighbors, who believe the new satellite-based radar system is the cause of increased noise.

"This shows the commitment that Burbank has to its residents, by its City Council and the airport," Ford said. "The mission statement of the airport is to provide state-of-the-art regional airport facilities and relevant services which are efficient, safe and user-friendly while being a good neighbor. This letter shows that you are indeed good neighbors. You listen and try to resolve the issues to the best of your ability and you don't slam the door in our faces."

The draft letter that Burbank officials have written acknowledges the FAA's mission to make more efficient and safer flights, and it asks the federal agency to consider the impact that NextGen has had on Burbank residents and to try to reduce the noise caused by the new system.

During a council meeting on Dec. 5, Mayor Will Rogers asked city staff to draft a letter addressing the concerns residents have expressed about NextGen, and suggested they use letters written by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) to the FAA regarding the radar system.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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