Finn Questions Legality of Added Flights Out of Burbank Airport

Los Angeles City Councilman Howard Finn asked the city attorney Friday to report on the legality of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority’s recent decision to allow Trans World Airlines to start service to St. Louis out of the airport.

Questions Legality

Finn, whose northeast San Fernando Valley district is affected by noise from the airport, questioned whether the decision violates the state law that established the authority. That law says the authority “shall not permit any increase in the noise-impact area"--the area in which the noise from the airport is greatest.

TWA officials have said the airline will begin flying two round trips daily from Burbank to St. Louis on Nov. 15. Under a complex formula used to determine the effect of airplane noise on the surrounding area, the added flights will increase the noise-impact area by 7.7 acres, according to Richard Vacar, noise program management specialist at Burbank Airport.

However, Lee Blackman, an attorney for the airport authority, said the state law merely prohibits the authority from increasing the noise-impact area beyond where it was when Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena acquired the airport from Lockheed Aircraft Co. in 1978.

Impact Area Called Smaller

Vacar said the authority has reduced the noise-impact area from 403 acres to about 108 since the acquisition, and therefore is within the legal limit. The reduction, Blackman said, is largely because of the introduction of quieter aircraft.


“It’s true that the airport authority has been decreasing the noise-impact area,” Finn said. But, he said, the addition of the TWA flights increases it over what it is now.

The city attorney was asked to report at Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council’s Planning and Environment Committee, chaired by Finn.