A decision on what the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority
will do about repaying the Federal Aviation Administration for land
purchased with federal grants will wait until the land is appraised.
Dios Marrero, the Airport Authority’s executive director, outlined
the contents of a letter from the FAA received last week to airport’s
commissioners at their Monday meeting. In the letter, FAA
Administrator Marion Blakey asked the Airport Authority to pay the
agency the fair market value for 55 acres of land purchased with
federal grants for a terminal that has not been built. The FAA will
not require the authority to repay the value of another 62 acres of
land purchased with federal dollars, as long as it is used as a noise
buffer for the surrounding area.
The value of the land in question will be determined by an
appraisal, and Marrero said until that occurs, the Airport Authority
has no idea what its liability will be. Blakey asked the group to
present the FAA with the results of an appraisal within 30 days, but
Marrero said he was not sure the Airport Authority would be able to
meet that deadline.
“I don’t know whether that’s realistic or not,” he said. “It’s a
total of 55 acres, and a very complex configuration.”
Airport officials can either sell the land to recoup its value or
keep it and repay the FAA with other funds. Although the commission
is not likely to discuss the issue in depth until the land has been
appraised, Burbank Commissioner Charles Lombardo said the chances of
retaining the land and continuing to pursue a terminal are bleak.
“I think everybody agrees it’s the perfect place for a terminal,
but that’s where the agreement ends,” Lombardo said. “Absent a
consensus from everybody involved, I think it may be time to look at
what we can sell the property for.”
Glendale commissioners Gerald Briggs, Carl Povilaitis and Carl
Meseck did not address the issue at Monday’s meeting, and could not
be reached for comment afterward.
The Airport Authority had proposed using the 55 acres of land for
various airport and security functions, including the relocation of
the Burbank and Glendale National Guard armories. Marrero said such a
use is still a possibility, but the National Guard would have to
purchase the land from the Airport Authority.
“The project can go forward, but it goes forward under different
rules,” he said.
The commissioners also voted on new officers Monday, with Lombardo
being elected president. Former president Chris Holden of Pasadena
was elected vice president, and Povilaitis was elected secretary.
Lombardo, Holden and Burbank Commissioner Bill Wiggins were
nominated for president, but Holden and Wiggins declined their
The three Glendale commissioners voted against Lombardo’s
nomination for president.