“The City Council gets it,” Feger told airport commissioners. “This is what we need to once and for all have a compromise [plan] for our future.”
Officials have emphasized the public aspect of the process, including regular staff-level meetings between the airport and city, extensive public outreach and talks with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines that serve Bob Hope Airport.
Officials also said any proposal for a new passenger terminal would require approval from two of the three airport authority members who represent each of the three cities — Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena — and from Burbank voters.
“This is not a process whereby the city and the airport huddle together and come up with a new concept that would or would not include a terminal,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said. “It is going to the people first.”
Key topics to be addressed, Feger said, include: Replacement of the 81-year-old terminal building, which the FAA has deemed a safety concern because it is too close to runways; long-standing complaints about aircraft noise; and the development of the empty 59-acre former Lockheed Martin site along Hollywood Way, north of the passenger terminal.
Regulations limiting the airport authority’s ability to expand would also be drafted for voters.
“The citizens of Burbank will make the ultimate decision,” said airport authority commission President Frank Quintero, a Glendale City Council member.
The FAA has long sought a new terminal at Bob Hope, but legal disputes between the airport and city in the 1990s effectively blocked the airport from moving forward.
Airport officials have said securing a mandatory nighttime and early-morning flight curfew would also be a top priority, although the FAA, which so far has rejected the proposal, would have to sign off on it.
Commercial airlines today abide by a voluntary curfew on flights between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but efforts to pass a curfew law have met opposition from the FAA and cargo carriers, such as FedEx.
Bill Wiggins, a Burbank airport commissioner, said the prospect for peaceful negotiations with the city once seemed unthinkable.
“If I look back, it is remarkable we are where we are right now,” Wiggins said.