Editor’s Note: myBurbank sent eight questions out to the eight different candidates running for Burbank City Council. myBurbank will run a different question each day for eight days (except for weekends). We have in no way edited any of the responses that we have received and have come directly from the candidates. We gave them no limits to the amount of space they wanted to use for their answers and have rotated the order of the candidates each day so no one has an advantage. After reading these questions and answers, myBurbank hopes that the voters of Burbank will have an informed opinion before casting their votes. Remember, you can vote for two candidates and every vote is valuable!
Question 3 of 8:
With news about the airport possibly pushing back the new terminal back at least five years, how do feel about the relationship between the Hollywood Burbank Airport and the City of Burbank? What to see in the future about development on the Airport’s property?
The relationship between the Airport and the City is great, however, the relationship with residents in the area can be vastly improved. The biggest problem residents face is the noise pollution. I would like to see a more open relationship where this issue can be discussed and we can begin to see changes such as mandatory curfews and changing flight paths so that aircrafts are not flying so low.
Based on the current plan, it seems as though the City is going to go through with the planned renovations. We will likely see increased development and traffic in in the future. If elected, I plan to bring residents and their concerns to the table. It’s possible to have a small, functioning airport that is convenient for residents and fliers.
I think the relationship between us and the airport is solid. Most folks want and like the airport. There are some folks who have some valid concerns about a new airport terminal that might be a lot bigger than the current one. We all want a safer new building with more and new amenities. Everyone would like a quieter airport with an enforced curfew. Burbank recently participated with other areas on a task force. The FAA just responded to our recommendations a few days ago. It is a much more complicated situation than we all thought. I did not know how much our flights were affected by and controlled by other airport towers both at takeoff and once they are in the air. Today, I read response number 1 and 2 and I can see it will take me a little while to get through all of it. I would like to see a smaller new terminal than contemplated that has some attractive amenities for the travelling public. I, as well as many family and friends, prefer flying out of Burbank. I would like it to be safer and quieter. I want the total number of flights to stay the same with an enforceable curfew. I want all of Burbank to put themselves in the shoes of folks who live near the airport and be sympathetic and empathetic. They have a right to be concerned about the noise and bad air. It is not a fair argument to say you bought near the airport so don’t complain. These residents have a legitimate concern about a much larger expansion of the airport combined with Avion, the Golden State Specific Plan, the bullet train and a long history of distrust with the airport. I think Mr. Miller is doing everything in his power to earn our trust and to be transparent with our residents. We have a capable and competent group of Airport Commissioners who have my respect and confidence as well.
The only thing that will be developed on the airport property is the airport terminal and airport uses. If you are asking about the property around the airport, as I mentioned previously, we have just filed a Golden State Specific Plan which discusses new locations for housing and low-rise businesses, hopefully a lot of creative space business as well. I am also hoping for some park and open space. It would be wonderful if we could buy the armory property and use the building for a gym and programming and build a new park for that area.
Having lived in Burbank for decades, I have seen so many discussions, decisions, failures and plans regarding our airport. One of the reasons I bought my house in Burbank was that I frequently travelled on business and used the airport several times a month. It adds value to our community in many ways. But with the FAA mandated Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, the problem of noise in our community has increased. We must continue working with Federal officials to pressure them to readjust the flight paths away from the area south of the airport.
The empty land around the airport is a wasted resource for our community. It can be developed without taxing City resources and adding traffic if we are innovative and look for new ways to help our businesses and residents.
I believe the promises of Measure B, passed in 2016, have not been met by the city. We must do more to ensure the airport serves the surrounding community. First and foremost, curfew violations must be enforced with fines, and the airport authority must be completely transparent with the implementation of the NextGen system and its effect on flight patterns. With the upcoming high-speed rail project, short-haul commuter flights to the Bay Area and Sacramento will be reduced. This poses an excellent opportunity for the airport to streamline its flights to these areas, which will reduce air pollution and fossil fuel usage.
Regarding development on the airport property, as council member I will ensure that the terminal exceeds ADA accessibility minimums and the construction is completed with union labor at the local prevailing wage.
The long standing relationship between the City of Burbank and the Airport is an important one. As one of the best airports in the country, according to Fodor’s Travel Guide, it is an integral transportation hub for Los Angeles and our local surrounding businesses and neighborhoods. It is crucial to continue to have an ongoing relationship with the Airport Authority in its current capacity, as well as when the new terminal is built, to ensure that we work together for mutual benefit.
Currently, some of the important ongoing discussions are the flight paths and schedules that have a noise impact on residential areas, the potential addition of a high speed rail station under the airport, the impact of the Avion project on surrounding traffic, Uber and Lyft traffic in nearby neighborhoods, and environmental and sustainability goals for the current and future airport.
Because Burbank does not have jurisdiction over the airport, the relationships between the city, Airport Authority, and the FAA are crucial to ensuring that Burbank’s interests are advocated for.
Michael Lee Gogin:
I think for the most part the relationship with our airport and city are good. What is important is that we do collect sales taxes and hotel taxes. What would be favorable is to build an international terminal for smaller jets. All are good sources of more revenue for our city.
I am concerned with the news that construction of a new Airport terminal could be delayed. I am worried both about the safety concerns for the public and the likely budget busting cost increases a delay will cause. I understand the debilitating effects COVID-19 has had on the travel industry in the near term, but this terminal project is being built as long-term investment in our City and our region. As to the relationship between the City and the Airport, I believe it has improved markedly over the years culminating in the overwhelming passage of Measure B.
The Hollywood Burbank Airport is an icon of our city. It is the preferred path of travel for many residents and countless tourists visiting the greater Los Angeles area, especially those visiting or seeking to do business with the entertainment and production studios in our backyard. Its success is crucial to the success and stability of our local economy.
Making the investment to update and upgrade our airport has the potential to significantly boost our local economy by making Burbank the preferred destination to travel through the Los Angeles area. This will, in turn, provide a huge benefit to our local businesses at a crucial time when our local economy is suffering.
There has been much discussion in recent years about the presence of high-speed rail in Southern California, with most plans designating Burbank as the primary gateway to Los Angeles. In the event that a high-speed rail project is built in California, I would absolutely support a high-speed rail Burbank station to be built. This which would provide an efficient and seamless transfer to the Hollywood Burbank Airport, along with continued improvement in mass transit options to more easily connect travelers to the airport without the need to drive and park a car.