Airport Considers Policy Changes


A special meeting convened Tuesday morning saw the Glendale City Council in agreement over potential changes to how decisions are delegated at the Bob Hope Airport’s Airport Authority.

The nine members that make up the Airport Authority – which consists of three commissioners each from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena – would require a supermajority on issues pertaining to the erection of a new terminal at Bob Hope or a curfew on when commercial flights can land or take off. The day-to-day running of the airport would not be affected by the changes. Decisions pertaining to that would continue to be passed by a simple majority.

Councilmember Zareh Sinanyan, who sits on the Airport Authority board along with Councilmember Laura Friedman and former Councilmember Frank Quintero, described the proposed changes as a “significant decision” that would give Burbank “a degree of comfort” on the affected issues.

“[Burbank] trusts [Glendale and Pasadena] to be good-faith municipal entities that will look out for the airport and Burbank equally,” he said.

The move could loosen a jam over certain issues that the Airport Authority has been unable to move forward on, such as replacing Bob Hope’s terminal.

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still considers Bob Hope Airport safe, it has raised concerns over the terminal’s proximity to the runway, which currently lies approximately 500 ft. closer than what federal guidelines recommend.

A proposed replacement for the terminal would see it become a 14-gate structure which would be shifted to one of two proposed locations.

Burbank has remained open to replacing the terminal, but seeks to put the brakes on any expansion.

Moving forward on this issue, Friedman said, would increase amenities for Bob Hope’s passengers, as well as making the airport “cleaner and a lot safer.”

Everything would hinge, however, on Burbank’s voters.

A measure would be placed before Burbank residents that would consist of a package deal that would include the new terminal as well as changes to Bob Hope’s governance. City Manager Scott Ochoa said the compromise would “abate” any potential challenges from the Burbank City Council.

“What we’re gaining from Burbank is the discretionary approval for the terminal,” Friedman said. “Any governance change doesn’t happen until the terminal is approved before the voters.”

A date for this vote and placement of ballot measure has yet to be decided.