Now that the Burbank City Council has tabled efforts to build a new
terminal at the airport, officials are looking to the future of the
130-acre parcel of land it was to sit on and a federal deadline to
decide what’s going to happen to it.
Hope exists that the terminal space can be preserved so building a
new one in the future would be more viable, Burbank Mayor David
On Feb. 26, Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Marion
Blakey gave Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport officials 60 days to
decide whether to build a terminal or return $40 million in federal
funding that has been put into the parcel.
“They could use the property to lease it and keep a revenue stream
going,” Laurell said of the airport’s governing board. “I think the
most important thing to do is to retain all options we may have
available to us, and to the [Airport] Authority to make sure that
when the time is economically right, we can build a terminal that is
right for the region and the city.”
After years of debate, the council voted Tuesday to table efforts
to build a terminal.
“The economic climate is not conducive for the Airport Authority,
the airlines or anyone else to be moving forward with a new terminal
at this time,” Laurell said.
Airport officials are looking to see how much can be repaid and
how much money is tied up in the land, spokesman Victor Gill said.
“The authority is undertaking a review of all grants the FAA has
made over the years for land acquisition to identify how the money
was spent,” Gill said.
Along with leasing the land to help repay the $40 million, Laurell
suggested the property could even be sold.
Airport Commissioner Chris Holden hoped Blakey’s deadline could be
extended so a ballot measure could be put to voters on a 14-gate
terminal next year. By that time, a long-awaited noise study might
have concluded, he said.
The decision by the council, for now, ends a tempestuous debate
over a terminal.
Airport officials once said they needed a new terminal to comply
with federal safety guidelines. But the authority shelved those plans
last year. Interest in a terminal was revived when Burbank city
officials argued that flight curfews might be approved by the FAA in
exchange for a safer terminal.