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Airport terminal plans are shelved

Ryan Carter

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

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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

Laurell said.

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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

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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

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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.


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