With some portions of the current terminal at Bob Hope Airport exceeding 85 years in age and the continuing changing scope that is today’s transportation, myBurbank supports a YES vote on Measure B in the coming election on November 8.
After reviewing the information presented by both sides of the argument, there seems to be many different opinions. Some people we have talked with think it is about expansion, even becoming an international terminal.
A YES vote on Measure B will give the Airport Authority permission to go ahead with its plans of building a new terminal in another area of the airport’s property. The new terminal will only be allowed the same 14 gates that the current terminal has now. While it is a ‘new’ terminal, it is in fact a replacement terminal.
People have said that a new terminal will create more flights. That is not necessarily the case because 14 gates are in place now. It is up to the airlines how many flights a day they use the gates that they lease out, along with FAA approval. All air routes are first approved by the FAA. The amount of flights allowed a day has to take into account how long a plane is at an airport gate to both deplane, reload, take on fuel and have luggage taken off and reloaded.
The voluntary curfew will remain intact. Remember, it is a voluntary curfew, which has been in place for many years. The Authority, along with Burbank officials, will continue to push for a mandatory curfew, although in all honesty will probably happen as fast as peace in the Middle East is achieved.
It is with hope that a new terminal, while larger in size than the old terminal, will maintain the charm and ease of use as the old one. Passengers always comment how easy it is to get in and out of Burbank, hopefully that will be taken into account. The Authority has also promised boarding in the front and rear of planes still which is a bonus that most airports wish they had.
The largest argument is that Burbank would lose control if Measure B passes. The measure will give Burbank a ‘Super Majority’, which means that it only takes two Burbank Commissioners to vote something down. Opponents will say that the Authority can now vote on anything on its own and take Burbank out of the loop and go against the best interests of the City. While that is true in fact, a City Council who vets its airport commissioners thoroughly, would still have the control needed. The Burbank City Council appoints three members and it would only take two to stop something. It is like the President appointing a United Nations’ representative. He will do the country’s bidding or he will be replaced. The City Council has that same leverage.
Are there some questions ahead? Yes. Is this a perfect solution? Hopefully.
There is a desire that the new terminal looks to the future as well as the present. We have to look at new forms of transportation in the future. High Speed Rail and MetroLink need to be planned for. The Regional Transportation Center will now be a greater distance from the terminal and a solution will be needed to make the transition for passengers seamless.
While some proponents have stated that the FAA says that the current terminal is unsafe is not true. New guidelines for new terminals have a suggested distance away from runways and while those regulations went into effect long after the Burbank terminal was originally built, they are guidelines for new terminals. The new terminal would follow these guidelines. If the current terminal was unsafe by FAA standards today, no airline would be permitted to operate from the facility.
The new terminal will also employ the newest security measures that are needed in today’s climate and mandated by the Federal Government.
While the new 14 gate replacement terminal will be larger, there will also be more amenities in place for passengers. New restaurants, lounges and other features will not only accommodate more passengers, but will lead to more tax revenue generated for the City. A passenger friendly airport will also make Burbank more of a destination of choice which will in turn help the local economy through hotel stays (bed tax) and local retail sales.
It is time to look ahead Burbank. There was opposition to removing the ‘Golden Mall’ and replacing it with the Downtown Burbank that exists today. A Downtown Burbank, in fact, that is thriving and putting tax dollars into the Burbank coffers that pay for a top of the line police and fire department among other services.
So with that said, myBurbank, as the only news source located in Burbank and run by Burbank residents who have skin in the game, recommends a YES vote on Measure B on November 8. Be sure to vote on Election Day!