General aviation planes that break the Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena
Airport’s mandatory overnight curfew will pay higher fines for their
“It’s a deterrent, just like there’s a penalty for running a red
light,” said Don Brown, Burbank Airport commissioner. “When the rules
are there, they think twice.”
While the airport cannot enforce an overnight curfew on commercial
planes, it can fine general aviation Stage 2 jets, which can be up to
15 times noisier than the facility’s Stage 3 commercial planes.
General aviation includes charter operators, flight schools, and
private and corporate aircraft.
The airport has a voluntary 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew for
commercial flights, the same hours as the mandatory curfew for
general aviation. Only the Federal Aviation Administration can grant
a curfew for commercial flights, and the airport is completing a
noise study that is a requirement for lobbying the FAA to approve
The increase became effective Thursday night when the Airport
Authority approved the change at its meeting. Rule breakers will pay
$100 to $200 more for fees that ranged from $1,000 to $3,000. In
addition, the Airport Authority approved a yearly review of the fees
based on inflation. Rates had remained unchanged for 20 years until
they were raised in February 2001.
"[Breaking the curfew] usually involves some sense of urgency
about that particular trip,” Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill
said. “It’s usually not done carelessly or with utter disregard.”
As evidence that pilots respect the curfew, the airport’s data
showed there were four violations in 2001 and three in 2002. Fines
collected go the airport’s general fund and are not earmarked for a
Most complaints about airport noise are about nighttime flights,
which are primarily quieter general aviation planes that are exempt
from the mandatory curfew. These include Stage 3 jets or
“The problem with any aircraft noise at night is that there is no
other noise happening to shield it,” Gill said.