FAA Considers Curfew Request at Bob Hope Airport

AOPA and EAA have asked the FAA to extend a comment deadline on a request to ban nighttime traffic at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif. The FAA is accepting comments through July 20, but the two associations are pushing for a 30-day extension so that pilots have enough time to weigh the impact such a curfew would have on their operations.

A June 22 notice in the Federal Register acknowledged that the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority (BGPAA) has completed its application for a curfew banning flights at the airport from 10 p.m. to 6:59 a.m. The BGPAA’s request is the first completed application for an airport curfew that includes stage 3 aircraft, which meet the FAA’s strictest requirements for noise levels.

“Banning nighttime traffic at Bob Hope Airport would force more aircraft to fly into nearby airports, including Van Nuys Airport, the busiest GA airport in the United States,” said AOPA Senior Director of Airports Heidi Williams. “Not only would it put a strain on airports in the area; it could potentially lead to other airports implementing curfews, eliminating access for all aircraft at night.”

Williams told the BGPAA in 2008 that the proposal would harm the GA community because it would bear the costs of the proposed restrictions. Offsetting noise at Bob Hope would force more aircraft to fly into Van Nuys and could lead to additional requests for restrictions on GA aircraft that could leave them with nowhere to go, she added. AOPA will express its concerns again in comments to the FAA.

The FAA has until Nov. 1, to approve or disapprove the proposed access restriction, which would ban all flights during the curfew except for law enforcement and firefighting, emergency medical flights transporting patients or human organs, and aircraft with declared in-flight emergencies. The airport already has a voluntary nighttime curfew with a 97-percent compliance rate.

Pilots can share their comments and concerns with the FAA on the proposed access restriction by submitting them online and identifying docket number FAA-2009-0546 in the comments.

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