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Van Nuys Council Urges Cooperation on Airport Noise

The Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council passed a resolution urging the city governments of Los Angeles and Burbank to work together on noise issues at their respective airports. Without collaboration between the cities some council members feared that Bob Hope Airport in Burbank will be allowed a nighttime curfew that would end up diverting general aviation flights to Van Nuys Airport. Bob Hope currently has an application before the Federal Aviation Administration for a curfew to curb all flights between 10 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. save for some exceptions such as emergency and medical flights. The FAA is expected to make a decision by November. “If we do nothing we are guaranteeing their process will go through and we sat on our hands,” said Wayne Williams, the council member who introduced the resolution. Last year the council passed a resolution opposing Bob Hope’s curfew application with the condition that Los Angeles and Burbank needed to work together in a common effort to reduce aircraft noise, particularly jets. The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, the owner and operator of Bob Hope, passed its own resolution in November encouraging Los Angeles World Airports to pursue a similar night-time curfew at Van Nuys as the authority wants in Burbank. No formal stance The City of Los Angeles has never taken a formal stance on Bob Hope’s application. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and staff members, however, have met with Burbank city officials in January and then again in June to discuss the issue. If both the Burbank and Van Nuys applications get rejected then it is possible the cities would go to Congress to get approval to submit a joint application. Noise problems have long been an issue at the two airports due to the facilities being so close to residential neighborhoods. The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority began a study in 2000 to meet requirements set out by the FAA for the curfew. The FAA study for Van Nuys is still in the early stages. By the time the FAA is ruling on Burbank’s application, the Van Nuys application will go before the public for comments. That time lag between the applications was raised during the council’s discussion. Member Ken Miller, who voted against the resolution, was of the mind that if the council were to support Burbank’s application then it has to be simultaneous with the Van Nuys application. “We are looking at a problem that can bite us if Burbank gets a curfew and Van Nuys does not,” Miller said. Council member Don Schultz said that Burbank airport officials should have come to Van Nuys for its support at the beginning of the process rather than after their application was submitted. According to supporting documentation for Burbank’s application, a curfew would result in jet aircraft being relocated from Bob Hope primarily to Van Nuys, with some going to Whiteman Airport in the east Valley, and Camarillo Airport. Burbank City Councilman Dave Golonski told the council that if the FAA grants the curfew, Bob Hope won’t begin implementation until January 2011. It was in the best interests of Van Nuys to support the Bob Hope application because if it receives approval then the chance is greater that Van Nuys will receive a curfew as well, Golonski said.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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