While many residents anxiously await the completion of an in-depth
airport noise study that could lead to a mandatory curfew on
overnight flights, local officials hope to move the process forward
today at a meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration.
A contingent of council members and airport commissioners from
Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, along with state and federal
representatives, are meeting with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in
Washington, D.C. They will discuss the future of the
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, the prospect of a mandatory curfew
and a replacement terminal.
Consultant Max Wolfe from Landrum & Brown -- the group hired by
the airport to perform the study -- told the City Council at its Feb.
18 meeting that an application requesting a mandatory curfew will be
ready by August 2004. The application, originally projected to be
done last year, will be submitted to the FAA. The agency could make a
decision about the proposed curfew as soon as eight months later.
“I knew the wheels of federal government moved slowly but ... the
time frames of this process have always astounded me,” Councilman
Dave Golonski said.
The Part 161 study, which started in July 2000 and will cost the
airport at least $4 million, is required by the FAA before it will
consider approving a curfew on flights. The airport’s voluntary
curfew for commercial flights is from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Only the FAA can approve mandatory curfews.
If Burbank succeeds in obtaining federal approval, it will be the
first airport in the country to do so. Speedy completion of the
local study was thwarted by the need to document the instability of
the industry following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, since the
study tracks and forecasts future passenger activity, Airport
Authority spokesman Victor Gill said. The pace of working with FAA
officials to ensure that the work is done to specification also
slowed down the work, Gill said.
“When you’re doing a first, you’ve got to make sure that all of
the guidelines have been met,” Burbank Airport Commissioner Don Brown