Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport employees are on notice not to
cross at a former crosswalk to get to the terminal from an adjacent
parking lot or it could cost them their jobs.
"[We issued] a reminder to the airlines and employees that both
the airline and each individual employee agrees to follow all airport
rules,” Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill said. “Access to the
restricted areas can be in jeopardy.”
The Airport Authority, which governs the site of the former
crosswalk, would not be able to fire an airline employee for
crossing. But the Authority could deny an employee access to a
restricted area, making it tough to do their job, Southwest Airlines
spokesman Mike Munoz said.
The former crosswalk connects Star Park -- a private parking lot
-- to the terminal. With the crosswalk removed, customers must board
a shuttle that goes around the airport’s loop to a terminal that’s
only a block away from the lot.
Airport officials, citing safety and liability concerns, removed
the crosswalk shortly after Star Park, which is owned by Zelman
Development Co., opened in January.
Airport police have issued more than 120 citations costing $90
each since they began ticketing for the offense March 12, Airport
Security Chief Mike Post said.
But pedestrians, including airline employees, continue to break
the airport’s no-crossing rule.
“Everybody’s used to crossing there for the past 15 years,” said
Richard Gano, a spokesman for Transport Workers Union Local 555,
which represents Southwest Airlines employees. “Now it’s a four- to
five-minute walk or take a bus.”
Southwest, the airport’s largest carrier, received a warning from
the airport late last month in response to employees crossing
illegally. According to Gill, all airport carriers must follow the
same rules, and should be aware of them by reading signs posted at
the site of the former crosswalk, or through the Airline Affairs
“We are making sure that employees are informed, so that they know
that [being fired] could be the worst case scenario, “Southwest
Airlines spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said.
Not all airline employees park at Star Park. Employees who work
for American Airlines and America West Airlines park at an employee
lot and do not use the crosswalk. Alaska Airlines employees,
meanwhile, are expected to begin parking at Star Park later this
summer, a spokesman said.
Zelman officials, meanwhile, say the crosswalk ban was a
deliberate move to eliminate competition with airport-owned parking,
and the company is appealing court rulings that allowed the crosswalk
to be closed.
“They are trying to harass the employees and people trying to
cross there,” Zelman Vice President Paul Casey said.
Airport officials maintain that safety is their primary concern,
noting that the busy intersection is one where Post said “we issue
almost as many citations for vehicles running the stop sign.”