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After Comedian : Hope Abounds for Renaming of Airport

Times Staff Writer

Orange County already has its John Wayne Airport, and some Burbank boosters are now lobbying to have their airport named after Bob Hope.

The Greater Burbank Visitors and Convention Bureau believes more travelers would use the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport if it were renamed after the comedian.

“The airport has too long a name right now,” said John Harker, director of the visitors bureau. “We need something short to have the name be a salable entity on the world market.”

Harker suggested the change in a letter to the airport authority, which will consider the proposal next month. He noted that Hope films TV specials at NBC Studios in Burbank.

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Hope has been out of town and is unaware of the proposal, said his public-relations man, Ward Grant. But Grant said Hope would be pleased.

“I personally can’t think of anybody else that deserves the honor more,” Grant said.

But Burbank city officials, who have three of the nine votes on the airport commission, may not embrace the new name. They said the airport’s name changed in 1979. Until then, it was known as Hollywood-Burbank Airport.

“It’s an interesting concept, but I can’t imagine us changing the name,” said Mayor Mary Lou Howard. “We’ve changed the name in the past, and it’s still very confusing to a lot of people.”

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No one has yet suggested that travelers may feel squeamish about flying into an airport called Hope.


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