Burbank-Glendale-Pas- adena Airport officials and council members
from each of the three cities that administer the joint powers
agreement are in support of a proposal to rename the airport in honor
of the late Bob Hope.
Former Burbank Mayor Michael Hastings, accompanied by longtime
Hope publicist Ward Grant, proposed the name change at Tuesday
night’s Burbank City Council meeting. That same night, a Hastings
associate suggested renaming the airport at the Glendale City Council
Hastings, meanwhile, said he has spoken to members of the Pasadena
City Council and that they have been supportive of the idea.
“It’s a good cause,” Hastings said. “It’s one of those things you
feel good to be attached to.”
Hastings told the Burbank council that the project would be funded
privately, and that he would be willing to oversee all fund-raising
Hastings said the proposal has received the support of Hope’s
daughter, Linda, and the management of NBC, which had a more than
50-year relationship with Hope. The entertainer died Sunday at 100.
Since the three cities created the Airport Authority in 1977, the
airport’s name has been changed only once. In 1978, the cities voted
to amend their agreement and change the name from Hollywood Burbank
Airport to the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport.
Though it is not entirely clear what the exact process would be to
rename the airfield, Airport Authority President Charles Lombardo
said that precedent would likely dictate that city councils from each
of the three cities decide whether a name change is appropriate. But
if the proposal were to come before airport commissioners, Lombardo
said he would support renaming the airfield for Hope.
“I think it would be a great tribute to someone who probably flew
out of the airport more than anybody else,” he said.
Lombardo added that he did not believe changing the name would
cause people not to associate the airport with the Burbank area.
“They changed Santa Ana to John Wayne and nobody’s gotten lost
yet,” he said.
At its next meeting, the Burbank City Council plans to approve
letters to the other cities and Airport Authority expressing support
for the proposal, City Manager Mary Alvord said. Given that the
council asked for the item to be brought back for immediate action
instead of the usual two-step process, she is optimistic the process
could be a quick one.
“I think it will be something we will move on sooner rather than
later,” Alvord said.
During its 73-year history, the airport has also been known as the
Lockheed Air Terminal, Union Air Terminal and United Airport,
spokesman Victor Gill said.
This is not the first time it has been suggested that the airport
be named for a celebrity. The late radio personality Roger Barkley
once suggested the airport be named for Jimmy Stewart, and Gill said
in the mid-1980s a group of people also suggested it be named for
“This comes up from time to time. We’ll have to see if it has legs
this time,” he said.