What gives with airport takeoffs?
I’ve been noticing lately a lot more planes taking off to the east
over Burbank instead of the usual westerly direction. Is this
something new going on? Part of a new “share the noise” plan in
effect? Too bad we can’t “share the noise” with our other two airport
partners, Pasadena and Glendale.
Airport shouldn’t be renamed for Hope
I’ll tell you “Why not Bob Hope Airport” (Aug. 2 edition of the
Leader). As a kid, Bob Hope brought laughter, fun times and silliness
into my life. The name Bob Hope should be honored correctly.
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center or the Buena Vista Library
should be renamed for Bob Hope, not the airport. There are too many
negatives associated with the airport, and it would be a discredit to
the man who brought laughter and hope to millions.
Resolution of airport issues still in doubt
In his letter to the editor appearing in the July 26-27 edition of
the Leader under the headline “Been there, done that with airport,”
Don Elsmore sounds a note of finality with regard to developing plans
for a new terminal at the Burbank Airport.
Mr. Elsmore is of the opinion that efforts to build a new terminal
have been going on for a number of years, and much has been said and
done during that period.
He now feels there is little else to be said. Unfortunately, the
goal to build a new terminal has not been accomplished.
As justification for his belief that “all that can be done, has
been done,” he lists recent efforts such as the visit to Washington,
D.C., on Feb. 26, by elected representatives and local officials. He
also mentioned Chris Holden’s letter of April 23 as a final positive
effort to solicit the Federal Aviation Administration’s continued
support on behalf of a new terminal. There is no question about the
sincerity and the positive nature of these actions.
However, new problems arise with the passing days, demanding
continuing efforts on the part of our local airport officials. Of
immediate concern is to seek reversal of the FAA’s request of May 2,
for the prompt return of approximately $40 million in prior federal
Since compliance with this request might require the sale of land
previously purchased as the site for relocated terminal facilities,
such a sale could foreclose the potential for a future terminal
relocation. That happening could cast a dark shadow on the airport’s
When contemplating the airport’s future, some may take comfort in
assurances expressed in the FAA’s letter of Dec. 19, 2002, which
states in part: “Given the special operating procedures in effect for
the airport and the long history of operations with the terminal, we
believe that operations in the present location can continue safely
in the future as in the past.” It is needless to point out that
statement constitutes a complete reversal of the FAA’s long-standing
request for terminal relocation.
I personally take little comfort in that letter. I have found over
the years that the FAA’s decisions on certain issues are as
changeable as the weather. FAA administrators serve five-year terms,
and what appears white to one administrator can appear black to his
One does not need the vision of a seer to foresee the day when an
FAA official will take the position that an agency charged with the
responsibility to enforce standards ensuring the safest possible
commercial air transportation system will continue to declare the
Burbank Airport safe, when it is so obviously in violation of federal
Should that day arrive, and we have no ability to relocate the
existing terminal, will the FAA continue to declare the airport safe,
and in doing so, accept primary financial responsibility for any
catastrophic happening that might occur? I doubt it.
That is why in prior letters to the editor, I have urged an
all-out war to preserve our prior federal grant dollars, with
whatever political weapons it takes.
I have also urged a concerted effort on behalf of all involved to
join in a final drive to find a mutually acceptable solution to the
terminal relocation project.
DAVID M. SIMMONS