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Local News in Brief : Suits Against Airport Over Noise Barred

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that owners of homes near Burbank Airport cannot sue the airport for property damage caused by aircraft noise, dealing a severe blow to aircraft noise protesters and boosting plans for a larger airport terminal.

Although the opinion by Judge Robert I. Weil provided that some homeowners may be able to recover damages for personal injury due to jet noise, his ruling appeared to crush the hopes of about 600 plaintiffs who had filed damage lawsuits against the airport, attorneys for both sides said.

In addition, Weil’s decision removes a potential problem that clouded plans for a new terminal that could handle 7.3 million passengers annually by the year 2000, more than double the airport’s current traffic.

Burbank Airport executives have said the financial uncertainty raised by the prospect of having to pay future legal judgments worried the financial markets that rate the bonds the airport will have to sell to finance improvements. Wednesday’s decision erased most of that uncertainty, they said.

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