Authority Submits ‘PUC’ Applications to Burbank Aimed at East-West Runway Safety Program; Commission Selects Consultants for Environmental Reports on New Alternative Terminal

Runway Safety Proposal Would Shift Parking Lot Locations and Install Soft Paving to Prevent Aircraft Overruns at East End of Runway

New Terminal Site Identified in Southwest Corner of Airport as Backup to B-6 Property Site

BURBANK, Calif., December 4, 2000 — The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has embarked on a major program to enhance safety on its east-west runway near Hollywood Way that would move two airport parking lots further from the runway and install a special speed-arresting paving surface to prevent aircraft overruns onto Hollywood Way.

The Authority took its first step toward the safety improvements by voting unanimously to submit four separate applications to the City of Burbank seeking permission to acquire five acres of the B-6 trust property and to change the use of an additional five acres on property now owned by the Airport Authority.  The acquisitions and use changes would allow the moving of Airport Parking Lots A and B to locations more distant from the runway and out of its path.

In addition, the applications were the first step that could lead to the Authority’s acquisition of two parcels on Hollywood Way directly opposite the end of Runway 8/26 and eliminate potential obstructions on the land.  The parcels are currently the site of a gas station, a dry cleaner and a restaurant.  The Authority noted the applications did not constitute a commitment at this time to buy the properties, but were being made as a requirement of the Public Utilities Code, which gives the city the right to approve land acquisition by the Airport Authority.

The Authority’s action also authorized a $25 million grant application to the Federal Aviation Administration that would finance the purchase of the land, as well as pay for the installation of Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) paving blocks which have the ability to stop a Boeing 737 traveling up to 50 knots.

“We’ve been taking a close look at options to enhance overall safety on the east end of the airport ever since the Southwest incident last March.  This program will stop aircraft and eliminate undesirable land uses in the path of the runway or off to the side.  It’s also important to note it is possible to do these things quickly and affordably,” said Carl Meseck, Airport Authority president.

Meseck added that the Authority hopes to make a presentation to the Burbank City Council  on the project soon after the New Year.

After voting to start the runway safety enhancements, the Authority convened in special session to interview candidate consulting firms to draft environmental reports for a variety of possible projects, including land acquisition, a replacement passenger terminal, taxiways and parking lots.

Prior to the interviews the Authority staff unveiled a schematic plan for an alternate terminal layout on airport-owned property southwest of the airport’s runway intersection.

“You have a potential terminal on airport property that does not require PUC approval,” noted Executive Director Dios Marrero in introducing the matter.  He also noted that the Authority is still supportive of locating a terminal on the B-6 trust property, but sees a necessity of looking at an alternative in case the B-6 site should not prove feasible.

The concept drawing depicts a terminal of 250,000 square feet, with 14 aircraft gates, 40,000 square feet for administrative offices and 4000 parking spaces.

“This is the alternative staff would recommend in the event we reach a point when the B-6 site is not longer viable,” Marrero said.

The Authority selected the firm of Environmental Science Associates to enter into negotiations for a contract to undertake production of environmental  documents to be specified in the future.