AIRPORT DISTRICT — Bob Hope Airport officials Monday agreed to spend nearly $1 million on refurbishing the airfield, the first stage of a $13-million modernization effort.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority unanimously agreed to a series of contracts for the runway shoulder project for $995,920.
The 555-acre airport, which last year served 4.6 million passengers and housed about 45 private jets, has two paved runways measuring 5,800 to 6,800 feet long.
Airport Commissioner Charles Lombardo, of Burbank, said the runway safety area hasn't been rehabilitated in more than 20 years. The area, he said, has begun to show its age.
"No question about it, but this work must be done. They just wore out," Lombardo said. "I consider it money well spent for the safety of the airplanes and the safety of our passengers."
The authority last month approved a $96-million budget, setting aside more than $50 million for environmental measures, airfield infrastructure and terminal improvements.
Included in the budget was $4.5 million for a passenger processing system, $12.65 million to rehabilitate two ramps and the runway shoulder and $18 million on a regional transportation center.
The proposed $120-million center would link the airport with passenger trains, shuttles, buses, taxicabs and rental cars.
Officials began that effort this week by reinstating complimentary SuperShuttle service between the Bob Hope Airport and Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station.
Those traveling to the downtown station don't need reservations; while those heading from downtown to catch a flight should make advanced reservations, officials said. The stops are located at the airport shuttle island and near the downtown station bus platform.
Commissioners agreed to spend $10 per person for a shared ride and a $25 flat rate for dedicated, nonstop service, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.
"We're going to pay for this because it's in the best interest of the community," said Glendale City Councilman Frank Quintero, the commission's president. "I consider this as taking the first steps to become an important, regional transportation hub and a way to take passenger cars off of Burbank streets."
The transportation center is slated to go before the Burbank City Council next month for a series of entitlements.
"I really believe that project makes sense," Quintero said. "No. 1, it's totally green. And No. 2, this will work overtime with tourists and other people traveling from out of town. With European travelers the circuit includes the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and San Diego. We want to make Burbank part of that experience."