By Jason KUROSU
Representatives of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority met with community members on Monday night regarding the need to replace one of the airport’s terminals.
Monica Newhouse-Rodriguez, deputy executive director, Facilities and Planning for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, illustrated why the Airport Authority has sought a replacement terminal for a number of years.
“You’re the closest to an active runway that you would ever be inside a building on any airport in the United States,” Newhouse-Rodriguez said.
The meeting at Burbank Airport’s Skyroom was one of several meetings the Airport Authority is holding to present its plans for the proposed terminal and to gather feedback from the community.
The current terminal, which was built in 1930, has been deemed substandard on a number of fronts. Not only is the terminal in close proximity with runways but it does not meet current earthquake design standards.
Input from residents indicated that there is also interest in a larger variety of restaurants and shops within the airport, which Newhouse-Rodriguez said would necessitate a larger terminal.
Dan Feger, executive director for the Airport Authority, said the city of Burbank and the Airport Authority have been working together to bring the new terminal into being with consideration given to the concerns of local residents.
“Neither the city nor the Airport Authority have taken any actions to approve anything,” said Feger. “So there are no formal agreements between the bodies about anything here. We’re at the beginning of the process of getting community input.”
Their efforts produced, among other things, a survey which indicated that 64% of Burbank voters supported the development of a replacement terminal.
Burbank voters will have the ultimate impact on the terminal’s future because of the decision on Measure B, a 2001 initiative ordinance that states that a replacement terminal can only be built pending local voter approval.
Should the replacement terminal be approved, it would not be voted upon until mid-2015 by Burbank’s voters after the Environmental Impact Report and other approvals are completed.
Newhouse-Rodriguez said the goal is to produce a replacement terminal that is both “safe and modern.” It would feature expanded space for improved ADA accessibility, smoother security screening, baggage claim, restaurants, shops and other aspects that cannot be efficiently accommodated currently.
Some of this extra space would be provided by a second floor. Though the new terminal would require more land than the current building, the terminal would be a “true replacement,” with no additional gates added to the current number of 14. The Airport Authority also indicated that the public would not be subjected to the funding of the terminal.
“The local tax base of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena does not pay for a replacement terminal,” said Newhouse-Rodriguez, who went on to note that the terminal will be paid for through the Airport Authority, airlines, airline passengers and the FAA, at a cost of around $300-$400 million.
Although the survey research presented indicates general approval of the replacement terminal, some at the meeting found the information presented was lacking.
Fifty-two year Burbank resident Mike Nolan felt the presentation did not give the public a clear enough conception of what the plans are for the replacement terminal.
“[Residents] want to know where the new terminal is going to go, where the footprint would be. I believe you have that capacity and I believe you made a tactical error in not having that available now,” said Nolan, who also said the Airport Authority should “work towards establishing a credibility with the public, which is going to be essential if they’re going to pull this off.”
Visit http://www.bobhopeairport.com/airportauthority/airport-authority/city-airport-visioning-process.html to provide input on the proposed terminal and view the schedule for future workshops hosted by the Airport Authority.