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What gives with airport takeoffs? I’ve been...

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.