Airport agencies not part of rename game

Ryan Carter

With city councils from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena gearing up as

early as next week to approve renaming the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena

Airport after Bob Hope, certain agencies within the airport are


readying for no change at all.

Though the costs of changing the name are estimated to be close to

$250,000 in signage changes -- much of which the airport could foot

the bill for -- entities like the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport


police and fire departments and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport

Authority, the facility’s controlling arm, will not change their


“I think the commissioners felt this is still a tri-city, local

agency, and wanted to maintain a name that retains that local

designation of the airport,” Authority Executive Director Dios

Marrero said.

The airport facility could be renamed as early as Dec. 17, the


anniversary of the centennial of flight. The airport’s commissioners

unanimously approved an agreement with Hope’s family Nov. 3 to rename

the airport Bob Hope Airport. The three city councils are scheduled

to vote on the name change within the next two weeks.

Signs will go up at the airport with the new name, Caltrans street

signs will be changed, and the terminal’s sign will be changed.

Flight attendants might even announce it as Bob Hope Airport as

planes approach Burbank, Airport Authority Commissioner Charles


Lombardo said.

“The authority itself is the ‘Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport

Authority,’ ” Lombardo said. “But what we call ourselves is

inconsequential. The ‘Bob Hope Police and Fire departments?’ In

Orange County, they didn’t adopt John Wayne’s name for its

departments. You have to keep your identity. But the authority is

still going to be the authority.”

The authority was created in 1977 after Lockheed sold the airport.

The agency was set up by Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. The name has

stuck since then, but there has been no legal reason to keep it,

Marrero said, adding that it was the local designations in the name

that have given it staying power.

Early estimates of the possible changeover put its cost at

$250,000, and Marrero expected much of that to be picked up by the

authority. Hope representatives have said they will come through with

private donors with funds and a gala fund-raiser next year.

“I think that is fine,” said Councilman Dave Golonski of the two

names. “The public will know it as Bob Hope Airport, and that is the

tribute that everyone is looking for.”

Lombardo seemed to agree.

“What you call the airport is not a major event, but naming it for

Bob Hope is a tribute you cannot minimize because he has done so much

for everyone in this country.”