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.