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Residents still waiting on airport noise study

Laura Sturza

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

said.


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