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Airport at odds with SCAG report

Ryan Carter

Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport officials are taking exception to a

report by the Southern California Assn. of Governments that predicts

passenger demand at the airport will exceed 10 million annually by

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2030.

“In general, the Authority believes that the forecast of 10.7

million annual passengers at Burbank Airport in 2030 significantly

overstates the passenger handling capacity of this facility,” wrote

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Authority Executive Director Dios Marrero in a letter to Michael

Armstrong, the association’s lead regional planner.

The 2004 Regional Trans- portation Plan, released last month,

projects population demands on cities in Southern California and how

they will affect services. Agencies use the report for planning

purposes. Marrero finds fault with the forecast because it is based

on the use of Boeing 757 airplanes that seat more people than the

airport can handle, and which do not generally fly into the facility.

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“These increased levels of activity by both general aviation and

commercial air carriers would exceed the airspace capacity and

runway/taxiway capacity at Burbank Airport, making such levels

unrealistic.”

Marrero said assumptions made in the report would force air

carriers to implement service throughout the day, even during times

where no service exists.

“Not only is it a stretch, but it’s probably not achievable,” said

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Burbank Airport Commis- sioner Charley Lombardo, reacting to how the

airport could meet the demand of more than 10 million passengers a

year.

An Authority-sponsored projection two years ago found that

passenger traffic would increase from about 5 million a year to 7.2

million by 2015, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.

But the association’s forecast was simply a draft and meant to

gather input, association officials said.

“There appears to be a misunderstanding on the authority’s part

that the 757s would play a major role in Burbank’s future fleet mix,”

said Jeff Lustgarten, a spokesman for the association. “These

projections are not made on that assumption.”

He said the projections come from various factors, including

airline fleet mixes. The goal of the report, which will be made final

in April, was to forecast a regionwide picture of increased airport

demand throughout Southern California, Lustgarten said, adding that

Authority officials sit on a task force that reviewed the date.


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