Land Acquisition to Begin : FAA Grants $2.5 Million for Air Terminal

Times Staff Writer

After a one-year delay, the Federal Aviation Administration has allocated $2.5 million to Burbank Airport to begin acquisition of land for a new terminal building to replace the airport’s 55-year-old structure.

In another development, airport officials have more than doubled the size of an advisory committee formed to recommend steps to reduce the impact of noise on San Fernando Valley residents.

With the addition of federal tax monies generated at the airport, about $9 million will be available for land acquisition over the next three years, according to a contract accepted Monday by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

The airport expects to earn about $6.6 million through 1987 from a federal tax on airline passenger tickets. The airport receives the tax money based on the number of passengers served, and the federal government has approved the airport’s proposal to spend it to acquire land.


Grant Was Blocked

The grant made final this week stems from the airport’s application for $5 million of the money the federal government distributes each year to airport improvement projects around the nation. Federal officials agreed last year to give the airport $2.5 million, but U. S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Studio City) blocked the grant.

Berman said he wanted the airport to more evenly distribute jetliner noise over the Valley by directing more traffic toward Burbank and Glendale. After the airport announced that it would study ways to reduce noise, Berman did not oppose the grant this year.

Airport spokesman Victor Gill said the grant and ticket-tax allocation will provide $4.6 million in 1985 for land acquisition. He said airport officials will apply for another grant next year but have not determined the amount.


The terminal replacement project is expected to cost more than $40 million. Airport authority members have been negotiating with Lockheed Corp. for a year to acquire 37.2 acres north of the existing building to use for the new terminal.

Runways Too Close

The FAA has ordered the airport to replace the old building because it is too close to runways. No estimate has been made of the cost of acquiring a site for the terminal, but airport officials have said the grant and tax funds might be used for a down payment.

On the noise issue, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority will invite 10 political representatives to join nine members already named to the advisory committee. The panel, acting as part of a federally funded study of noise problems, is expected to help determine what policies can be adopted to reduce noise. Possible measures include condemning or soundproofing homes and schools, and changing zoning regulations.

The airport authority agreed to expand committee membership at the suggestion of several commissioners, who requested that all residents affected by noise be represented by their governing officials. Recommendations by the committee will be submitted to the airport authority and FAA for approval.

Clout Questioned

Representatives of Valley homeowner groups have questioned whether the committee will have any clout in forcing the airport and federal officials to adopt policies to reduce noise, such as limiting the number of flights. Federal officials generally oppose restrictions on interstate commerce.

The airport authority at first invited the cities of Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, Los Angeles County and four congressional representatives to serve on the committee. Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley appointed Councilman Howard Finn to the post.


The authority also agreed Monday to invite representatives of five local members of the state Assembly, three state senators, and Los Angeles City Councilmen Ernani Bernardi and Joel Wachs to participate.