Thursday, July 22, 2004
Burbank residents complain airport deal didn’t go far enough
The Associated Press

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) – Many residents complained that a deal to block development of a new terminal at the Bob Hope Airport didn’t go far enough. The agreement, which city and airport officials were still working on, only bars expansion of the airport for 10 years, said opponents of the plan.

The city would need to approve any expansion plan after the time limit is up, as would voters.

“Ten years is going to fly by,” said James Arona, 51. “We don’t know what the council is going to be like in 10 years.”

The proposal would also keep the airport from adding gates to the existing terminal for another seven years. The agreement could be given final approval in November.

If the city and airport are unable to work out an agreement, the city could simply rezone the airport land to prevent any expansion. But attorneys said that could lead to costly legal battles with the airport.

Resident Ron Vanderford said the proposed agreement virtually guarantees that the airport would attempt to expand once the 10 years is passed.

“It’s not to protect residents,” he said. “It’s to protect the ability of the airport to build a 27-gate terminal.”