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PUBLIC FORUM : BURBANK AIRPORT: PLANS FOR TERMINAL SPARK DEBATE.

Once again, we are fed the line that the existing terminal at the Burbank Airport is unsafe and must - in the name of preservation of life and limb - be replaced at the earliest possible moment. And, of course, much larger would be much safer.

Let's look at the actual record. There must have been something approaching 100,000 takeoffs and landings at this airport - many thousands since the introduction of the jets around 30 years ago.

My records show that there has never been an instance of an airplane crashing into the existing terminal. Nor, incidentally, has the terminal building ever moved over and bumped an airplane. That's a pretty good safety record, not one to provoke hysteria.

I can, however, point to the fact that there have been a number of emergency landings in the residential areas surrounding the airport over the years. One was about 500 feet from my home, and a couple more about four blocks south. If one of the existing jet transports ever fails on takeoff, we can expect loss of life to run in the scores or hundreds.

Obviously, greatly expanded operations of the airport will not improve the safety probabilities.

- Ralph W. Gee

Burbank

Over the years, there never was a safety concern. Older aircraft, less powerful than today's modern planes and equipped with antique avionics, have made tens of thousands of safe arrivals and departures.

But now with mounting pressure from Glendale, Pasadena, Warner Brothers, Disney and other special-interest groups, ``we'' are told our airport is unsafe. Unpopular as expansion is with the residents of Burbank, we are told it must be done for our own good.

Hogwash. The airport is already a significant source of air and noise pollution and it must not be expanded. People and homes were here before the airport. If the airport is truly a ``public utility,'' shouldn't the public decide, and not some puppet commissioner or politician?

I'm for a one-year moratorium on any expansion plans, increased public awareness and a nonpartisan commission, one that will put people first and special-interest groups second.

- Robby Shaw

Burbank

Building a larger terminal at Burbank Airport is not necessary. We do not need another LAX. Making the Burbank Airport larger will only cause more traffic, noise pollution and dissatisfaction from the residents in and around Burbank.

- Shaheda Zaman

Sun Valley

Move the terminal if the FAA demands it and enforce the curfew.

We don't want flights at every hour during the night. How can anyone justify tripling the number of flights? Burbank Airport is in a heavy populated area. Do we want the same large vacant areas here like those that surround LAX? It would destroy Burbank.

Listen to the pilots talk about the nearness of the mountains. Decrease, not increase, the number of flights.

- Charles Cloud

Glendale

We must remember that Burbank Airport serves people from different cities, not just Burbank.

Secondly, why dispute the FAA and its ruling that the runway and terminal are too close for safety? Will a fatal crash be the only thing to change the Los Angeles City Council's mind?

I just hope that council members are wise enough to realize that the cost of rebuilding the terminal is trivial when compared to the cost of human lives.

- Youmee Cha

Burbank

Obviously the Burbank Airport Terminal must be rebuilt as it is too close to the runway.

However, it must be done in such a way as to reduce noise and traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods. There is no justification whatsoever to greatly increasing the size of the terminal. It is very unpleasant to be unable to speak to a neighbor in your back yard because airplane noise is so loud you cannot be heard.

While the terminal is being moved, it should be moved to the northwest quadrant of the airport, which would enable more flights to take off in an easterly direction, thus disturbing far fewer neighbors due to much lower population densities in the easterly direction.

- Arthur and Charlene Howard

Studio City

Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs should be ashamed. His effort to file suit against Burbank Airport again is a waste of tax dollars that could be spent on more police, more fire protection, needed street repairs and the myriad other things which go wanting in Los Angeles.

Wach's run for mayor is being financed at the expense of a city budget, which is already in the red.

The city has repeatedly sued Burbank Airport, and the courts have repeatedly rejected those suits. The courts have found that plans for replacement of the old, inadequate terminal at Burbank Airport met the requirements necessary for environmental clearance.

The FAA has certified that the airport plan for replacement of the old terminal meets its requirements. Let's get on with building a new, modern terminal that meets the needs of the millions of people who fly out of Burbank, and who derive income and revenue from the jobs that the airport creates.

A new terminal benefits everyone, including those Los Angeles residents who live near the airport. The millions of dollars in direct and indirect tax revenues that flow from airport activities go right back onto community, and pay for the city services that enhance their quality of life.

And let's not forget that Wachs supports the 800 percent terminal expansion currently under way at Ontario Airport. That airport, which is owned by the city of Los Angeles, puts 100 percent of its noise on Ontario residents.

Apparently, Wachs believes it's OK to expand airports when they don't impact his own voters.

- Emanuel London

Van Nuys

Yes, the new, safer terminal should be built. Since when does the Los Angeles City Council challenge the environmental studies and the FAA?

Safety should be the primary concern of all people. We who live near the airport feel the new larger terminal should be build to insure safety and protect the many travelers.

Many of us who are affected by the traffic and noise realize that is progress and we do not want to go back to the ``horse and buggy'' mentality of the vocal minority. They have stalled this improvement far too long.

- Lucille V. Pershing

Burbank

We want a new, modern, airport facility, not a 19-gate giant.

I worked for Flying Tigers from the late 1950s to 1968. The old Lockheed Constellations didn't have the brakes, flaps or the jet engines' reverse thrust. So the argument of safety is bull. No plane has come close to hitting the terminal.

- Michael C. Boysen

Burbank

Well, I see that the city of Los Angeles' coffers are so overflowing that more money is being thrown away trying to prevent the modernization of the Burbank Airport. Money already has gone down the legal drain, all to little avail except to make some law firms fatter than ever.

These people who claim the noise is unbearable cannot refute the documented fact that noise levels have decreased, and they cannot deny the fact that they all knew very well that the airport was here and operating when they decided to buy or rent under the flight patterns of Burbank Airport.

The airport opened in 1930 and is now two-thirds of a century old. During World War II bombers flew out day and night, and engines droned all night long during static tests. I know this personally, because I was born and raised in west Burbank and still have a business near the airport.

In the '50s the non-scheduled airlines flew overloaded prop-driven DC-4s and Constellations out at all hours of the day and night, making about five times more noise than modern Type III aircraft do.

Valley residents seem to think that Los Angeles gets too much of the noise. Most of the flights fly out over Burbank to the south. Of course, there is noise in some areas of the Valley, but there is a lot less than there was before 1978.

And after all, isn't it true that the majority of users of the Burbank Airport are either residents of Los Angeles or business people coming to do business in Los Angeles at this very convenient airport?

Burbank Airport is a great regional resource and it benefits Los Angeles as much or more than Burbank, Glendale or Pasadena.

The worst air disaster in history occurred in the 1970s in the Canary Islands, on the ground, when over 400 people died. The last fatal LAX aircraft accident occurred on the ground. New larger, faster aircraft need more space for safety.

Burbank Airport is a disaster waiting to happen. And the longer this modernization is delayed, the greater the odds of an accident.

- A.C. Young

Burbank

More flights `a distinct possibility'

In your editorial (``Terminate the debate,'' April 30) about the need to replace Burbank's inadequate airport terminal, you state that ``it is by no means certain that more terminal space will mean more landings and takeoffs.'' Further on in the article you quote the FAA ``. . . This can only be achieved with additional runway capacity.''

``Additional runway capacity'' does not necessarily mean the physical addition of one or more runways as the latter part of your article focuses on. The most obvious way to attain ``additional runway capacity'' is to decrease the time interval between landings or takeoffs.

Having observed current landing and takeoff patterns, there can be spacing intervals between major commercial landings or takeoffs of between five minutes and 15 minutes or longer. Obviously, if you decrease the intervals down to two minutes - or whatever the FAA minimums are - between landings or takeoffs, there is the distinct possibility of significantly increasing the air traffic at the Burbank airport without adding any new runways.

I do not quarrel with the need to build a new terminal from a safety standpoint.

However, I assume that a new, expanded terminal will increase the rents paid by the airlines. You will be hard pressed to convince me that the airlines will not use the increase in rents to justify their need to increase the number of flights into and out of Burbank in order to offset their increased costs, thus, increasing the noise and traffic in and around the Burbank airport.

As a Burbank resident, that's something I can do without. We don't need LAX coming to beautiful downtown Burbank. And we certainly do not need more late-night or early-morning noise pollution.

- Glenn Hamanaka

Burbank

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 4, 1996
Words:1749
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