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Residents ask Hollywood Burbank Airport officials to write the FAA regarding NextGen

Residents ask Hollywood Burbank Airport officials to write the FAA regarding NextGen
Residents are asking Hollywood Burbank Airport officials to write a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration to address concerns regarding NextGen and noise. (Raul Roa / Burbank Leader)

Several residents approached the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Tuesday urging officials to work with the Burbank City Council to send a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration to address their concerns about the agency's latest transportation system.

After the City Council's unanimous vote on Jan. 9 to have city staff reach out to its airport commissioners and the airport authority about writing a joint letter to the FAA about the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NextGen, residents from and around Burbank asked commissioners during a special meeting to work with the city to let the federal agency know about the negative impact the radar system has had on the cities surrounding Hollywood Burbank Airport.

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Burbank resident Audrey Ford, who said she has been tracking flights in and out of the airport for several months, told authority members that she thinks the flight paths of planes leaving the airport have gotten lower since the implementation of the satellite-based radar system in March in Southern California, which she thinks has caused an increase in noise around Hollywood Burbank.

"This is not only a problem for those of us residents who are living under the flight path, who are bombarded on a daily basis, it's now become a problem for you as well," Ford said. "I highly encourage that you do something about this problem."

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Burbank resident Roy Wiegand said more than 330 residents have signed a petition he and Ford posted on Change.org on Friday asking people if they want the authority to send a letter to the FAA regarding their concerns about increased noise.

"This was a way that we wanted to let you know that there are a lot people that are not here [who are] watching," Wiegand said. "We're not here with pitchforks and fire. We're here to try to work with you."

NextGen was implemented by the FAA as a way to make flight paths more fuel and time efficient, as well as increase the safety of departures and arrivals.

Authority President Terry Tornek, who is the mayor of Pasadena, told those who spoke during the meeting that he is familiar with working with residents whenever they have a quality-of-life issue, mentioning that he has worked with Pasadena residents to abate the issues that arise during the Rose Parade.

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Because the topic of the joint letter was not an agendized item, Tornek said that he will make certain that their concerns are addressed.

"The airport has a history of not being uncooperative with the city, in terms of interacting with the FAA, so I don't see any reason why there should be any daylight between the city of Burbank and the airport on this," Tornek said.

Twitter: @acocarpio

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