Flights will violate curfew

Robert Blechl

AIRPORT DISTRICT -- Three daily United Airlines flights will violate

Burbank Airport's voluntary curfew for one month beginning Thursday,

airport officials said.

The flights will be arriving from and departing to San Francisco

International Airport after the 10 p.m. curfew. The incoming flights will

be at 10:09 p.m. and 10:59 p.m. and the departing flight at 10:17 p.m.

Airport spokesman Victor Gill said United's schedule will continue

until June 8. After that time, he said, all United flights will comply

with the curfew.

The voluntary curfew, which is aimed at scheduled commercial

operations, is from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily. Before United switched its

schedule, about three or four planes have been flying into Burbank

Airport each day after 10 p.m. There are also about three landings per

day before 7 a.m., Gill said.

"We persuade (airlines) to not schedule flights after 10 or before 7,

but (United) had what I would call an aberration," Gill said. "They never

had departures after 10 before."

Councilman David Laurell said he was disappointed by the schedule

change, adding that the airlines need to respect residents living under

the flight paths.

"It's always discouraging when the airlines feel they don't need to

abide by a voluntary curfew, " Laurell said. "I think we are not telling

the airlines something they don't already know, that their operations are

destroying the quality of life for those impacted."

Gill attributed United's new flight times to logistics. The airline

had to work within the parameters of its maintenance operations and

within the alignment and inventory of available planes.

Despite scheduling flights within the curfew hours for a month, Gill

said United's change will not open the floodgate for more late-night

flights. He pointed out that United initially planned to continue the new

flights after June 8 but voluntarily changed its schedule.

"I think it's a good move on (United's) part to correct it they way

they did so it only lasts one month," Gill said. "We hope the public will

be encouraged by the fact that the airlines have complied with the curfew

95% or more of the time."

Laurell said he didn't believe other airlines would follow United's

example but that Burbank can not afford to leave the issue to chance.

"This is why we need an imposed, mandatory and enforceable curfew

before we can let the (airport) authority build a new terminal," he said.

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