FAA denies curfew at Bob Hope Airport

The FAA has denied a request to institute a night-time curfew at Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in Burbank, Calif.

The airport is owned by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which proposed a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6:59 a.m.

The FAA denied the request in part because the curfew would restrict commerce and worsen air traffic congestion in the Los Angeles area. The Burbank airport is a reliever field for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In addition to several air carriers, it has a thriving general aviation component.

Once a small plot of land in the country far away from the population, today the airport sits on 610 acres surrounded by shopping malls, subdivisions and freeways.

Residents of the Los Angeles basin have complained about noise from the airport for decades. Proponents of the curfew note that the Stage 2 jets — that is those built before 1983 — are louder than more modern jets and create an “unreasonable” amount of noise. Other residents expressed concerns over pollution from frequent overflights and the danger if a jet overshoots the runway.

The FAA warned that attempts to curtail air traffic would violate grant assurances in place at the federally-funded facility. Failure to comply with grant assurances can make an airport ineligible for federal money and, in extreme cases, the airport could be asked to pay back grants.

The airport, built in the 1920s, was first used by the Boeing Aircraft and Transport Co, which evolved into United Airlines. From 1940 to 1967 it was known as Lockheed Air Terminal. In 2003 the name was changed to Bob Hope Airport to honor the entertainer who lived near the airport and had recently died. Hope kept his plane at the field.

Because of its proximity to Hollywood, BUR has been used in several movies. It was made over to be the Berlin airport in “Indian Jones and the Last Crusade” and in the 1956 film “Giant” it was used for Jett Rink’s airport.

The airport authority is expected to appeal the FAA’s decision.

For more information: BurbankAirport.com.

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