When Michael Hastings called the Hope family in New York late one
night this week, he was not concerned about waking them. Sure, it was
late, even later back East, and the Hopes had a busy week ahead --
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would honor their father, Bob, the
late entertainer from Toluca Lake.
But they wanted to know. Was it official? Was Burbank-
Glendale-Pasadena Airport now known as Bob Hope Airport?
“They didn’t care what hour, they wanted to know,” said Hastings,
the former Burbank mayor who represents the Hope family.
Pasadena, the third member of the airport’s joint powers
authority, voted on Monday night to rename it, making the change
official. Officials expect to hold a ceremony introducing Bob Hope
Airport on Dec. 17, the centennial of flight. Glendale and Burbank
have already approved the change.
“They were first very quiet, which was kind of sweet,” Hastings
said. “There was silence, then there was a very, almost monitored
tone of, ‘Thank you very much. This is something that Dad would have
been so pleased to have.’ ”
From a technical standpoint, the name change became official as
soon as Pasadena’s City Council made its vote, but don’t expect to
hear pilots say, “Welcome to Bob Hope Airport,” for at least a few
more weeks. Airport officials and the Hope family are planning a
ceremony for Dec. 17, when a new sign at the airport will be
“I hesitate to get into too much detail, because it’s a project
still in planning,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said. “It would
basically be an announcement to local officials marking the change.
“The act has been done. The motion, the ratification, kicks in
immediately. But for practical purposes, we’re still awaiting a
Changing all of the signage and stationery will be a much more
time-consuming process, and officials said they have not even set a
schedule for that. Officials project a cost of $250,000 to make the
changes, but the Hope family has pledged to hold a fund-raiser to
help offset that cost. Private companies have already donated more
than $15,000 for the project, and the Hope family has not even begun
asking for contributions.
“Once we get over this first event, then we’ll be sitting down and
discussing the second event, which we will call the public tribute to
Mr. Hope,” Hastings said. “As the Hope family has said all along, no
municipal funds will come out of this, and as each funding issue
comes along, it will be submitted to the Hope family for review.”