Tag Archives: Hollywood Burbank Airport

Schiff, Sherman, Lieu Commit to Pursue Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force Recommendations

Reps. Adam Schiff (CA-28), Brad Sherman (CA-30), and Ted W. Lieu (CA-33) sent a letter to the Chair of the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force with their evaluation of the Task Force’s recommendations to federal legislators.

“Last year, several of us called on the FAA to participate in a community roundtable to address aviation noise issues in the San Fernando Valley, and we are pleased that the Task Force has now finalized its recommendations after nearly a year of meetings and community input,” the Members wrote in their letter. “Although as federal legislators we participated in the Task Force in a nonvoting capacity, we concur with its recommendations, evaluations of which are enclosed, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts. As you mention in your letter, implementing each of these proposals would require action by Congress, and we look forward to working with our colleagues to advance these recommendations.”

In May, the Task Force approved 16 recommendations to address community concerns with noise from operations at Hollywood Burbank Airport and Van Nuys Airport. Four of these recommendations, pertaining to nighttime aircraft noise and insufficient noise mitigation, would involve federal legislation and are discussed in the Members’ response.

The full text of the letter and the evaluation of the recommendations are below:

July 27, 2020

Emily Gabel-Luddy
Chair, Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force
275 East Olive Avenue,
Burbank, CA 91502

Dear Councilmember Gabel-Luddy:

Thank you for your efforts over the past year to make the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force a productive forum for developing solutions to the noise and environmental impacts of aviation noise in our communities. As you are aware, residents near flight paths from Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys Airports continue to face highly disruptive noise from flights—especially at night—and we have heard from many of our constituents regarding their frustration with the FAA’s implementation of new routes at these airports.

Last year, several of us called on the FAA to participate in a community roundtable to address aviation noise issues in the San Fernando Valley, and we are pleased that the Task Force has now finalized its recommendations after nearly a year of meetings and community input. Although as federal legislators we participated in the Task Force in a nonvoting capacity, we concur with its recommendations, evaluations of which are enclosed, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our thoughts. As you mention in your letter, implementing each of these proposals would require action by Congress, and we look forward to working with our colleagues to advance these recommendations.

Thank you again for your contributions to the task force’s discussions, and please be assured that we will continue to work with our Congressional colleagues, state and local elected officials, the FAA, airports in our region, and the affected communities to help achieve meaningful relief for residents of the San Fernando Valley who have experienced excessive airplane noise for too long.

Sincerely,
Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress

Brad Sherman
Member of Congress

Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress

CC:

Patrick Lammerding, Hollywood Burbank Airport
Flora Margheritis, Los Angeles World Airports
Gene Reindel, HMMH

Recommendations to Federal Legislative Representatives
from the South San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force

 Recommendation 9: Restrict aircraft from operating during the night at both Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY) and penalize and identify publicly aircraft operators that violate the mandatory curfew.

 Many of us are longtime advocates of mandatory nighttime curfews. Rep. Schiff, whose district includes the Hollywood Burbank Airport, supported the airport in its application to the FAA in 2009 to implement a mandatory curfew and stated on the House Floor that he strongly believed that the Airport had already met the curfew criteria set by law. After the FAA issued its finding—incorrect in our view—that the Airport’s study did not merit approval of a new curfew, Reps. Schiff and Sherman introduced standalone legislation (the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act) as well as amendments to FAA funding legislation to allow nighttime curfews at Burbank and Van Nuys airports. We will continue to seek legislative avenues to empower these airports to adopt new, enforceable nighttime curfew measures.

Recommendation 12: Increase the eligibility area for noise mitigation programs in communities near airports, which requires federal funding to implement.

 FAA regulations currently allow airports to use federal funding from the Airport Improvement Program to carry out noise mitigation programs in surrounding communities in areas that experience greater than 65 decibels day-night average sound level (DNL). Rep. Grace Meng has introduced legislation in the House to lower the FAA’s threshold for significant noise exposure from 65 dB DNL to as low as 55 dB DNL, which would allow more residents to qualify for federal sound insulation programs. Reps. Schiff, Sherman, and Lieu are proud to cosponsor this bill, the Decrease Noise Levels Act (H.R. 5874), which has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for further consideration.

Recommendation 13: Require the use of the Environmental Analysis (EA) as the minimum standard to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for implementing any FAA proposed change to aircraft flight procedures.

 Under current FAA regulations, new or modified air traffic control procedures that do not significantly increase noise over sensitive areas are categorically excluded from full environmental review under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Last year, Reps. Schiff, Sherman, and Lieu wrote to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) along with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio and many colleagues asking that it independently review how the FAA measures aircraft noise and how it evaluates and mitigates noise impacts. This request highlighted that the FAA’s finding that new routes in the Southern California Metroplex project “would not significantly affect the quality of human environment in the impacted metropolitan areas and would not result in significant noise impacts” seems to contradict the actual experience of our constituents in surrounding communities. Accordingly, the request specifically asked the GAO to consider whether FAA’s criteria for determining “significant” changes in noise levels sufficiently capture potential negative impacts, and whether the historical comparison data the FAA uses to conduct environmental reviews for new routes accurately captures the nature of the changes.

The GAO has initiated this study and plans to include community outreach at Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys airports as part of its investigation. We look forward to sharing the results of this effort with the airports and affected communities, and will consider legislative responses based on GAO’s findings, including requiring the use of Environmental Analysis as the minimum standard for procedure changes.

 Recommendation 16: Require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to immediately respond to community and Airport requests and provide post implementation results from NextGen aircraft procedures including the implementation of the Southern California Metroplex and future implementations and all supporting documents, the Noise Screen that was provided to Benedict Hills in about January 2018, and all documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

 Reps. Schiff and Sherman have written to the FAA supporting local requests for information related to noise issues, as well as requests by both the Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys airports that the FAA consider dispersing departure routes as required under Section 175 of the most recent FAA Reauthorization Act. In addition, Reps. Schiff, Sherman, and Lieu cosponsor Rep. Jackie Speier’s APPRISE Act in the House, which would require the FAA to ensure that an aviation roundtable technical representative can participate in the NextGen implementation process. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where it awaits further consideration. While no single piece of legislation can ensure ongoing cooperation from a federal agency, we are committed to continuing to pressure the FAA whenever necessary to be sufficiently responsive to community concerns.

Airport Authority Elects New President and Officers For Coming Year

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, owner and operator of Hollywood Burbank Airport, has elected new officers to head the Authority Commission for a one-year term from July 2020 through June 2021.

The Commission elects its officers each July. Pasadena Commissioner Ross Selvidge, Ph.D., was elected President, Commissioner Paula Devine of Glendale was elected Vice President and Burbank
Commissioner Don Brown was chosen, Secretary.

Selvidge was first appointed to the Airport Authority in July 2015 and served as Vice President this last term and Secretary the previous term. Coming from a family of aviators, he holds airplane and glider pilot licenses, and made his very first solo flight at Hollywood Burbank Airport more than 50 years ago. Selvidge also has extensive airport background having been a construction contracting officer at two U.S. Marine Corps air stations, while an active-duty Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer.

Devine was first appointed to the Commission in June 2017 and served as
Treasurer this last term.

Don Brown was first appointed to the Commission in November
2001 and has served as President and Vice President during his tenure on the
Commission.

In a related action, the Authority appointed Vrej Agajanian as Treasurer,
reappointed Bill Wiggins as Auditor, and reappointed Executive Director Frank Miller as
Assistant Secretary.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is a joint powers agency
formed by the three cities to own and operate Hollywood Burbank Airport. The Airport
Authority is governed by a nine-member Commission, and each of the three cities
appoints three Commissioners.

In addition to the elected officers, the other current Commissions are: Bill
Wiggins and Ray Adams of Burbank; Vrej Agajanian and Ara Najarian of Glendale; and
Terry Tornek and Steve Madison of Pasadena

Hollywood Burbank Airport & Hudson Add PPE Vending Machines in Passenger Terminals

PPE vending machine in Terminal A, pre-security. Photo credit: Derrick Cheng

The health and safety of our travelers, employees, and all Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) users is our top priority. Stepping up efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, two PPE vending machines have been installed in both Terminals A and B, making personal protective equipment readily available by all users of the Airport.

Working with Hudson, the Airport’s current travel convenience concessionaire, now you can purchase a variety of PPE right inside the Airport. One PPE machine will be located pre-security in Terminal A, next to the airline ticket counters and before TSA check point, photograph on page 2. The second PPE machine will be located pre-security in Terminal B, in the baggage claim area. Items for sale include:

  • A variety of face coverings – disposable, cloth and KN95.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes.
  • Nitrile gloves.
  • Infrared and digital thermometers.
  • All-in-one hygiene kits.
  • UV-C cell phone sanitizer case.
  • UV-C toothbrush sanitizer case.

“We’ve been a proud partner of Hollywood Burbank Airport since 2016, and so it is our responsibility to ensure we are providing their travelers with the product offerings and shopping experiences they are looking for,” said Brian Quinn, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of Hudson. “With the introduction of our PPE vending machines, we are making it easier than ever for travelers to purchase essential health and safety products needed to stay safe and comfortable during their travels.”

“We’re pleased that Hudson is not only providing the basic PPE items such as face coverings, hand sanitizers and gloves, but also taking it a step further and providing infrared and digital thermometers, along with UV-C cell phone and toothbrush sanitizing cases, in the vending machines inside the Airport,” said Frank Miller, executive director of Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Hollywood Burbank Airport will continue to make modifications to how we do business when necessary, upholding that the Airport continues to operate safely. The Airport will continue to disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily and asks everyone to wear a face covering in public spaces of the Airport as ordered by State of California, practice social distancing, and encourage frequent hand washing.

Hollywood Burbank Airport to Reopen Terminal B, Valet for Passenger Services

After temporarily closing the Valet parking on March 30 and Terminal B operations on April 10, due to reduced passenger traffic related to COVID-19, Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) will reopen Terminal B on Thursday, July 2 and reopen its valet parking services to passengers wishing to valet their vehicles while traveling.

All departing and arriving flights on Alaska and United, their ticket counter and baggage services, as well as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security screenings, will resume from Terminal B.

Additionally:

  • Spirit Airlines ticket counters will remain in Terminal A, but passengers will proceed to Terminal B for TSA security screening, boarding aircraft, and baggage services.
  • American and Southwest will continue to operate in Terminal A as normal.
  • Delta and JetBlue services are temporarily suspended until further notice.

We will continue to make modifications to how we do business when necessary, upholding that BUR continues to operate safely, asking everyone to wear a face-covering in public spaces as ordered by the State of California, practice social distancing, hand washing, and will continue to disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, SP+, the valet operator, will be implementing the following safety procedures when you drop off your vehicle:

  • Valet team members must always wear face masks and gloves when handling vehicles.
  • Markers will be placed on the ground to remind customers to practice socialdistancing while waiting for their vehicle or paying their parking fees.

Here are all the ways to pay for Valet parking at BUR while social distancing:

  • Pre-book and pay directly throughHollywoodBurbankAirport.com on your own device prior to your trip.
  • Use the Airport’s Express payment kiosks that accept credit cards, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and pre-booked reservation QR codes.
  • To retrieve your vehicle from Valet, call or text 818-626-3922, or use an Airport courtesy phone and enter your ticket number, or utilize an express pay terminal

Hollywood Burbank Airport Temporarily Consolidates Terminal Operations

As Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and airlines continue to experience reduced passenger traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BUR will temporarily close Terminal B operations on Friday, April 10.

All Alaska, Delta, and United airlines departing and arriving flights, ticket counter and baggage services, as well as Transportation Security Administration security screenings, will move to Terminal A. American, JetBlue, and Southwest airlines will continue to operate in Terminal A as normal. Signs will be posted outside Terminal B directing passengers to Terminal A.

We will continue to make modifications to how we do business when necessary, upholding that BUR continues to operate safely, while promoting social distancing, hand washing, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.

Hollywood Burbank Airport Increasing Cleaning

Hollywood Burbank Airport, in cooperation with its janitorial contractor, Diverse Facility Solutions (DFS), is having DFS workers spray every surface of the Airport with a highly effective disinfectant, using the Protexus sprayer made by EvaClean.

The Protexus is a cordless electrostatic backpack sprayer that charges a dilution of a 3M disinfectant product known to be effective against C. diff and coronaviruses. The disinfectant currently meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for disinfectant that are effective against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The spray is a very fine mist that adheres to hard non-porous surfaces as well as to soft surfaces such as fabrics or upholstery. The electrostatic charge allows the spray to attract to the surface, rather than float in the air, bringing 360-degree, touchless disinfection and sanitizing capabilities. The product is dry in 10 minutes.

The disinfectant will be applied nightly to all surfaces throughout the Airport on all high touch areas, doorknobs, flooring and carpets, computer workstations, seating and restrooms.

“The Airport’s new Safety Management System program led by Sumire Spurlock, has provided the Airport with a path to identify and purchase the Protexus sprayer and 3M disinfectant product for DFS to use throughout the Airport to help slow down this pandemic,” said Frank Miller, executive director of Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Deadline for Real ID Changed Due to Coronavirus

The Department of Homeland Security has changed the deadline for Real ID compliance to October 1, 2021, one year from the original date of Oct. 1, 2020, due the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spreading across America.

If Burbank residents plan on flying home for the Holidays or leaving on a vacation after the deadline, you will need a Real ID or other federally approved form of identification to board your domestic flight; without the correct ID, you will be left standing in the airport lobby watching your vacation leave without you.

All travelers flying domestically, including those leaving out of Hollywood Burbank Airport, will require an approved form of identification to board their flights. A Real ID is a federally approved state driver’s license or ID card that can be used to enter secured federal facilities, nuclear power plants and eventually to board federally regulated airliners. Plane tickets or a standard state ID or driver’s license will not be accepted by the TSA as identification, and travelers will not be allowed past their security check points. Kids under 18 will not need a Real ID. Other forms of ID that will be accepted include: state-issued enhanced driver’s license—California does not offer enhanced driver’s license—Military ID and valid passports. Information on Real ID can be found at the DHS website. Real IDs will not be required for international flights.

Real IDs are issued by the DMV. Having the new Real ID is not required by California. The public will still be able to obtain a standard state driver’s license or ID card.

In an effort to alert Burbank’s travelers to the change, the Hollywood Burbank Airport has been working with the California DMV and TSA to educated travelers about the new ID requirements.

“We have a video playing at Terminal A [70% of flights go through Terminal A checkpoint], and we have been putting posters all around the airport,” said Director of Public Affairs and Communication Lucy Burghdorf

Because of the pandemic, the DMV has asked those who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV office to delay making Real ID appointments. Updates on the status of the DMV will be posted on their website.

The Real ID Act was passed in 2005 to improve the security of driver’s license and personal ID cards. The Act was the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Report; its intent was to prevent terrorists from boarding domestic flights. However, right to privacy group’s lawsuits and objections from states delayed its implementation. Fifteen years later nearly all of the US states and territories have complied with the Act’s requirements, but as of January they have only issued 95 million Real IDs out of the 245 million cards total.

Sixth Meeting of the Noise Task Force Held

FAA Representatives listen to presentations. (Photo by Ross A Benson)

While FAA representatives sat listening with passive, stone-like faces, studies and suggested solutions were presented at the sixth meeting of the Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force held Feb. 19 to discuss solutions for the ongoing problem of airliner jet noise over the Southern region of the San Fernando Valley–including the City of Burbank.

HMMH Inc., an environmental and transportation consulting firm, gave a detailed and lengthy presentation supplying studies, research and the pros and cons of the suggested solutions; the Task Force and community groups listened intently.

(Photo by Ross A Benson)

When HMMH confirmed air traffic from Hollywood Burbank and Van Nuys Airports had increased from 2017 to 2020, cheers and clapping erupted from the frustrated residents in the audience. Community groups have long said the extreme noise did not start until 2017 after the implementation of the FFA’s NextGen program. The NextGen satellite-based airliner navigational system, created to make flights safer, efficient and quieter, moved flight routes over the Valley from their historic paths.                   

A collective proposal by several community groups gave their own research and recommendations. Potential solutions included having planes climb to a higher altitude immediately after takeoff, dispersing flight routes in a wider range over the Valley, so no single community would suffer the bulk of jet noise and that the routes be returned to their historical paths. The FAA has said they will not return the routes to their earlier paths.

Beth Fulton, president of the Valley Village Homeowners Association said, “We have taken pieces of each group’s presentation and tried to figure out how is there a piece of this that can work, so everybody can try and get some relief. Our continued message is, share, share, share.”

 The FFA disqualified most of the recommendations claiming FAA regulations, limitations on airspace, airliner safety, traffic from other airports and many other explanations.  

A newcomer to the Task Force meetings was Pacoima Beautiful representing the North East San Fernando Valley.

 “Some of the proposals that have been submitted in terms of changing flight paths is really concentrating most of the flight paths North of the airport–basically over our communities. We have a problem with that,” said Andres Ramirez, director of Pacoima Beautiful.

Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)

“We just have to be very fair in our recommendations,” said City of Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer. “We will make recommendations and those recommendations will go to the FAA, and they will say yes or no. The FAA may know another way to achieve that same outcome.”

Several community groups from the affected areas and representatives of the local congressional districts and California’s Senators were in attendance.

Suzanne Lewis, board member of the Valley Village Neighborhood Council was direct, “You know who regulates them [FAA].  Congress. That’s who they’ll listen to. So that’s who we need to be putting pressure on. I’m glad our congressmen are here. Even the senators… their representatives are here.”

The Task Force has just under a month to recommend possible solutions to the complex issue of Valley jet noise. The next meeting of the Task Force will be April 2 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport.

Hollywood Burbank Airport Reports Increased Numbers in November

Airline passenger traffic at Hollywood Burbank Airport maintained the upward trend of passenger increases for the month of November 2019. The November 2019 passenger count of 525,279 is an increase of 9.50 percent over the November 2018 passenger count of 479,719. Year-to-date, January through November 2019 total passenger count of 5,429,217 is an increase of 13.14 percent over January through November 2018 total passenger count of 4,798,818.

Commercial aircraft operations increased 8.43 percent, and general aviation operations increased 20.24 percent when compared to November 2018.

Total aircraft operations increased in November 2019 with 12,054 total aircraft operations, a 14.85 percent increase compared to 10,495 total aircraft operations in November 2018.

The top three airlines in November 2019 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (360,137), Alaska Airlines (41,684) and United Airlines (33,279).

Residents Continue to Voice Frustration With Jet Noise

The Southern San Fernando Valley Airplane Noise Task Force held their fifth meeting Wednesday, where elected officials and frustrated San Fernando residents voiced complaints over the loud jet noise assaulting their communities from above.

Groups representing Burbank and several southern Valley communities gave presentations and asked questions of the elected officials and FAA representatives. During their presentations suggestions and requests to solve the noise problem were made. Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer and Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy were in attendance.

Quiet Burbank Skies gave a detailed study showing the increase of flights in recent years from Burbank airport. Burbank citizens complained of loud daily jet noise—sometimes as extreme as 80 to 100 decibels—jets flying at low altitudes which increased their noise loudness while passing overhead and noise from flights taking off as late as 3am waking residents. According to the study Burbank airport has not been enforcing its own noise regulations or after curfew take off rules. The last flight allowed to be scheduled at Burbank airport is 10 p.m.

In Nov. 2019, 6,000 complaints about loud jet noise were made.

“It’s just noisy all the time,” said Judith Fraser who lives in Laurel Canyon. “We have had noise but not like this. This is really sever. It seems like they are flying lower…more flights and lower.”

Quiet Burbank Skies claimed the extreme jet noise started after the Next Generation Air Transportation System, called NexGen, was implemented in 2017.  NextGen, a satellite-based navigation system was created to make flights safer, quieter, and more efficient. The city of Los Angeles sued the FAA in Dec. 2019 because of plane noise over the San Fernando Valley and the FAA’s lack of action. The suit asks that the FAA return flights to pre-NextGen routes.

Planes taking off at a higher altitude, making their turns over the Valley sooner, Burbank airport imposing fines for violations of noise and after curfew plane take offs and returning to pre-NextGen flight routes were all solutions given by the community groups.  

Questions asked to the FAA’s representatives by elected officials and residents were not answered. The agency replied they could not answer questions due to the litigation with Los Angeles. The refusal to provide any information frustrated and angered the meeting’s audience members some of who were holding up signs reading Fix it Now, Play Fair and Liar.

The panel of elected officials and representatives said no action would be considered until the series of task force meetings was finished. The final airport task force meeting will be held Feb. 19 at the Los Angles Marriott Burbank Airport hotel.