Burbank Airport Vote on Early Flights Delayed

Faced with strong public criticism of plans to allow Reno Air jetliners to take off from Burbank Airport at 6:40 a.m., the airport's governing board voted to postpone a decision on the proposal.

Saying the early morning flights would unnecessarily increase noise levels, scores of Burbank residents and Burbank Mayor David Golonski turned out at the meeting Tuesday of the Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport Commission to protest the airline's request.

The protesters also urged commissioners to write a strongly worded letter to Reno Air, reiterating the need to abide by the airport's voluntary 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew.

"I believe the airport authority should request Reno Air to reconsider its schedule in the strongest terms possible," Golonski said. "There will be a significant backlash from the community as a result of the curfew violation."

Commissioner Chris Holden directed the airport staff to find what he called a reasonable and feasible solution for the airline and residents that included the use of quieter MD-90 aircraft.

Currently, three other airlines--Alaska, United and America West--schedule flights that leave before 7 a.m., airport officials said. In addition to an early flight, Reno Air has proposed departures from Burbank to its San Jose hub at 10:35 a.m., 3 p.m. and 5:50 p.m.

John Albrecht of Reno Air told the airport authority meeting that the airline was considering moving the 6:40 flight to 7 a.m. That would not happen until Jan. 1, he said, because the airline has already sold tickets on some of the announced flights, which are scheduled to start Oct. 4.

"Reno Air is willing to abide by the curfew if the other three airlines were also to abide by it," said Albrecht, who added that the early bird flights "were among the most lucrative" of the day.

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