Complaints Focus on Noise : Neighbors Assail Plan for Burbank Terminal

Times Staff Writer

Complaints of noise dominated the discussion when about 50 people turned out Wednesday night for a public meeting on plans to build a new terminal at Burbank Airport.

Eleven people from the relatively small crowd spoke, all of them protesting the plans and blaming the airport for noise and safety problems.

"This new terminal is just going to make everything worse," Joey Paige of North Hollywood said of the proposal, which is based on projections of 7.3 million passengers annually by the year 2000, more than twice the current 3 million.

Paige complained that commercial airline pilots concern themselves solely with their flights and do not worry about the noise they cause on the ground.

"Everybody's talking about the safety and flights, but what about the homeowners?" he said.

Part of Report Process

The meeting was held at Luther Burbank Junior High School as part of the process leading to publication of environmental impact reports by state and federal agencies.

Richard M. Vacar, manager of airport affairs, presented plans for the terminal.

But Don Schultz, head of a coalition of community groups, Ban Airport Noise, told Vacar that the planners should "go back to the drawing board" and come up with something that would reduce instead of increase flights.

At one point, Vacar, with a rueful smile, had to ask that the discussion be suspended because of the noise from an aircraft passing overhead.

A woman in the audience, Ann Hoyt of North Hollywood, yelled, "Don't smile about that; that's what we put up with every day. That's nothing for you to smile about."

'You're Going Full-Bore'

Hoyt later asked the airport administrators, "What are we doing here? You're going full-bore ahead anyway." She complained that the airport would proceed with its plans no matter what objections are voiced by residents of the area.

A deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs, Heather Dalmont, delivered a letter to Vacar in which Wachs again called for more jetliner takeoffs toward the east, over the cities that own the airport--Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena--to reduce noise in Los Angeles neighborhoods to the south and west.

In the letter, Wachs warned that he is seeking approval by City Council to sue the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to block construction of the terminal if such a policy is not implemented.

The Federal Aviation Administration bars takeoffs to the east for safety reasons and has said the ban will remain in effect until a new terminal is built.

FAA Ordered New Terminal

Under orders from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority must replace the existing terminal, built 56 years ago, because it is closer to the runways than modern safety regulations allow.

Planning for the new terminal is not expected to be completed until the 1990s.

Planners envision 18 aircraft loading gates, contrasted with the 11 in the existing terminal. Tentative plans call for the new terminal to be built in two parts--a building housing ticketing and check-in counters on Empire Avenue, east of the present terminal, and a departure concourse to the north, on the other side of the runways.

The two would be connected by a 1,500-foot passage under the runway, and planners envision a "people mover" of some kind to carry passengers through the passageway.

The arrival building is to have parking for 4,000 cars, plus as many as 2,000 remote spaces, almost doubling the 3,200 parking spaces in use at the airport last year.

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