Burbank TWA Flights Found Legal by L.A.

Times Staff Writers

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority acted legally in allowing Trans World Airlines to begin service from Burbank Airport, the Los Angeles city attorney's office said.

TWA is offering two round-trip flights daily to St. Louis from Burbank, beginning Saturday. Seven airlines now make 126 flights a day from the airport.

In a report Tuesday to the Los Angeles City Council's Planning and Environment Committee, Deputy City Atty. William Waterhouse said the projected impact of the TWA flights does not violate state regulations that limit increases in the airport's noise-impact area--the zone where aircraft noise is greatest.

Noise Complaints

The committee chairman, Councilman Howard Finn, had questioned whether the decision to allow TWA to operate from Burbank Airport violated the state law that established the authority. Finn's district, in the northeast San Fernando Valley, includes Los Angeles neighborhoods where residents complain about airport noise.

Since the two TWA flights will increase the noise-impact area by only 7.7 acres, to a total of 109.7 acres, state law was not violated, Waterhouse said. The legal limit on the noise-impact area is 330 acres, airport authorities said.

The council committee instructed Waterhouse to investigate whether the airport authority attempted to mitigate noise from the added flights.

Waterhouse told the committee that airport officials had not provided any documents indicating that they had studied the noise impact of the flights. Airport spokesman Victor Gill said the airport was not required to do environmental studies before adding flights.

In a related development, Burbank officials continued to raise the possibility that TWA had been given permission to begin flights despite a "veto" by Burbank representatives on the airport authority.

Burbank City Atty. Doug Holland late last month wrote a letter to authority President Robert Garcin, asking for a clarification of the joint-powers agreement among Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, the three cities that own the airport. Each city has three representatives on the authority.

Holland said any decision that may result in a noise increase must be approved by a majority of the members of each city's delegation, in addition to a majority of the authority.

Only one of the three Burbank commissioners voted to approve the TWA application, Holland said. One Burbank member was absent when the application was considered, and one--Mayor Mary Lou Howard--voted against it.

But airport officials said that, under federal law, the authority had to admit TWA because the airline met the two conditions for admission: The noise-impact area was not increased above the legal limit and the airline agreed to use aircraft classified by the Federal Aviation Administration as the quietest available.

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