Legislation Reintroduced to Allow Bob Hope Airport to Adopt Nighttime Curfews

Senator Adam Schiff visited John Burroughs High School (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) reintroduced the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act to allow Bob Hope and Van Nuys Airports to adopt curfews and minimize airport noise. In 2011, the legislators attempted to attach the curfew legislation to reauthorization funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The measure attracted bipartisan support but failed to get the necessary votes for passage. The push in Congress began after the FAA in 2009 rejected a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew at Bob Hope Airport claiming that it would “create an undue burden on commerce.”

“The legislation introduced today would give residents relief from the noise associated with late night and early morning air traffic.” said Rep. Schiff. “Valley residents living under the flight paths and in close proximity to the terminals have had to put up with this sleep-disruptive noise for many years, and it is time to provide relief.  We hope to build on last year’s bipartisan support for the measure in the House, and push for passage.”

“I am pleased to join with Congressman Schiff in re-introducing the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act,” said Rep. Sherman. “Valley residents living under the flight paths near Bob Hope and Van Nuys Airports should be able to enjoy a restful night without the roar of jet engines waking them up in the middle of the night.  We are committed to achieving a solution that ultimately reduces or eliminates nighttime noise within the communities that have fought for relief for decades.”

The legislation would clarify that these two airports should be exempted from the Airport Noise and Capacity Act, like other similarly situated airports were at the time of its passage. In the case of the Bob Hope Airport, this was one of the first airports in the country to impose a curfew. The Van Nuys curfew was a partial curfew that applied to some, but not all, operators. The language would allow Burbank and Van Nuys Airports to adopt non-discriminatory curfews applicable to operators from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“On behalf of the City of Burbank and the Council, I wish to express the City’s continuing support of a legislative solution to allow a nighttime curfew at Bob Hope Airport for the protection of not just Burbank citizens, but the entire valley,” said Burbank Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy. “Support of this legislation is another piece of the City’s ongoing 40-year effort to protect the nighttime noise environment.  We appreciate Congressmen Schiff’s and Sherman’s leadership in seeking nighttime noise protection. I will remain available, as I am sure the whole Council will, to securing a permanent solution.”

Dan Feger, the Executive Director of Bob Hope Airport added, “The Authority remains committed to supporting the City of Burbank in its effort, through Congressmen Schiff and Sherman, to pursue a legislative approach to nighttime noise protection for the community.”

The legislation would apply only to airports that already had at least a partial curfew in effect before 1990 when Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA), legislation that established national aviation noise standards nationwide, was enacted. This narrow legislation is designed to address the omission of not allowing curfews at these two airports, but is not intended to open the door to any further exemptions from that Act.