More than $100 million has been spent trying to minimize the noise impact of Bob Hope Airport flights to surrounding homes, businesses and schools.
That’s not counting the millions spent on a groundbreaking federal application to impose nighttime flight curfews — an effort that was ultimately rejected.
In the latest attempt at curtailing night flights, airport officials tried to secure written agreements from the airlines to adhere to the voluntary curfew. That effort also failed.
On the flip side, airport officials reaffirmed their commitment to noise-abatement measures, but those efforts have already cut down on nighttime aviation noise by 95%. Basically, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority appears to have hit a wall in terms of what it can accomplish on its own, and certainly has the receipts to prove it.
As the coalition of airlines at Bob Hope Airport so aptly pointed out, agreeing in writing to adhere to any sort of flight curfew would give any new air carriers an unfair competitive advantage because they wouldn’t be bound by the restrictions.
That’s why all resources should be diverted to a long-discussed San Fernando Valley coalition of airports that, through their collective power, could theoretically wring more binding concessions from the airlines.
The Greater Los Angeles region is too prime a market for the airlines to not bend to a united front. The airlines are understandably skittish about committing to a set of binding rules because that’s path that could very well lead to fines and (gasp) more government oversight.
A balance must be struck, especially in keeping the customer in mind. But the “go it alone” strategy that Bob Hope and other airports have been taking has run its course. It’s no longer cost-effective or politically fruitful. It’s time to build a coalition of our own.