Attendees at a Federal Aviation Administration public workshop this week said the agency is focusing on the wrong issue regarding a proposed 14-gate replacement terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
While aviation officials and consultants were trying to gather input regarding the airport’s new terminal on Tuesday to complete an environmental impact statement on the project, those in attendance — mainly residents from Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and other nearby communities — argued that an increased level of aircraft noise and shifting flight paths need to be addressed first.
Although the FAA is considering changing the flight departures from Hollywood Burbank, officials said the environmental impact statement for the terminal is a separate project.
Written submissions with comments about the project can be mailed to David F. Cushing, manager, Los Angeles Airports District Office, LAX-600, 777 S. Aviation Blvd., Suite 150, El Segundo, CA 90245
The deadline for written submissions is 5 p.m. on March 1.
Since March 2017, residents said they have witnessed flights leaving Hollywood Burbank departing at a lower altitude and more frequently over Studio City.
In October, the Landrum & Brown consultant firm released a report determining that flights have been shifting farther south toward Studio City, and the change could be due to the implementation of the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, which started in March 2017.
Studio City resident Suellen Wagner said she tried talking to the officials at the workshop, but felt her comments were falling on deaf ears.
She said she thinks the proposed replacement terminal, which is planned to be 355,000 square feet, will increase the level of activity at Hollywood Burbank, which has already been steadily on the rise as the economy continues to recover.
“They’ll have the ability, with a better and bigger terminal, to have more space for general aviation and cargo flights, which will create a lot more noise and a lot more pollution,” Wagner said. “They’re going to be incentivized to bring in larger jets because they get paid by the passenger.”
In addition to thinking she and other concerned residents are not being heard, Wagner said she has yet to hear an answer from FAA officials regarding what they will do to address the shifting flight paths and noise.
Burbank resident Audrey Ford agreed with Wagner, adding that residents have been the ones to compromise their lives while the FAA and airport do whatever they want.
“If they are taking our comments seriously, it doesn’t feel like it from our end,” Ford said. “Nothing is changing. The flights are still turning [north] around the [Studio City] canyons, and flights are lower than they ever used to be. No one seems to be offering a solution.”