The Los Angeles Times reports after an eight-year, $6 million study, the airport’s operator has proposed a solution: Ban all operations at Bob Hope (BUR) between 10pm and 6:59am, which would have the effect of shifting about 16 jet flights per night to Van Nuys Airport, already the busiest general aviation airport in the world. (Editor’s Note: Talk about a waste of $6 Million of Dollars on this solution. Someone ought to be very embarrassed). The proposal is out for its 45-day public comment period. As you might imagine, residents near Van Nuys are not happy, and a NIMBY-versus-NIMBY legal battle appears imminent.
The Glendale-Burbank-Pasadena Airport Authority, which operates Bob Hope Airport, says it’s done its homework. Time will tell — the FAA says existing noise mitigation procedures are effective, and the airport has a considerable burden to prove an outright curfew is required, in addition to facing cost/benefit analysis.
The authority responds that its consultants found the nighttime ban would cost commercial airlines, passengers and cargo carriers $55 million, but save up to 67-million elsewhere, including reduced need for government-subsidized soundproofing of nearby homes.
If sheer community size matters, Van Nuys may be at a disadvantage. Burbank officials say their airport has 1,545 homes situated in noisiest areas near Bob Hope, while Van Nuys has only 54 homes facing similar aircraft noise levels.
Van Nuys airport officials are already considering their own new rules to offload some of their traffic. The Times reports environmental studies for that plan are expected to be released this summer.
Congressman Brad Sherman, a democrat from Sherman Oaks, may have the only idea that would satisfy homeowners near both airports. “Eventually what we need is identical curfews at both Valley airports,” he said.
We should have word by the end of the year on whether the Burbank ban happens. Once the public comment period wraps up, airport officials want to get it submitted to the FAA this summer, and the agency will then have six months to make a decision.