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Mr. Citizen goes to Washington?

Laura Sturza

City Council members were poised to decide Tuesday night if a

community representative will join in a meeting with Federal Aviation

Administration officials to ask for guidance about future plans for


the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport.

While a schedule for the trip to Washington, D.C., is being

hammered out, representatives from the three city councils and

members of the Airport Authority aim to fly east as soon as the end


of this month.

Howard Rothenbach, coauthor of Measure A -- a voter-approved

initiative to limit airport noise and expansion that was deemed

illegal in court -- asked the City Council to invite a community

representative to attend the meetings.

“If someone else [attended], there would be another

interpretation, and the public would have the benefit of hearing what

both sides said,” Rothenbach said. “They’ve, in the past ... made


mistakes in interpreting what the FAA has said.”

Rothenbach cites the FAA’s statements that Burbank should find a

local solution, while the city continued to fear a loss of local

control, as an example of city officials’ misinterpretations.

City Councilman Dave Golonski was uncertain that including a

community representative at the meeting would be beneficial.

"[Airport activists have] tried to portray it like they have, and

the people have, a radically different position than the council, and


I don’t think that that’s true,” Golonski said. “The fact remains

that this City Council has worked very hard to get a mandatory curfew

and restrictions at the airport.”

Impetus for planning the meeting centers around ongoing

discussions about replacing the airport’s terminal, which does not

meet federal guidelines for a 750-foot distance from terminal to


The airport said in November it would stop pursing a new terminal.

The following month, the FAA said the terminal is safe and that any

decision to replace it should be a local one. City officials still

want federal input on any prospective replacement terminal and

support for noise and passenger limits.

Burbank Airport Authority Commissioner Charlie Lombardo would like

to see the meeting signal a more interactive relationship between the

federal agency, the airport and the city.

"[I hope] the FAA gets more active in the Burbank issues, and

maybe appoints a point person to work closely with all the

stakeholders,” Lombardo said.