Meeting puts terminal on a better path

By  Burbank Leader Editorial Board On July 18, 2015 

An uneasy relationship between the Burbank City Council and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority appeared this week to become at least slightly more amicable when the two parties met to discuss the proposed new 14-gate terminal at Bob Hope Airport.It was the first time in about 18 months that they met together on this vital project and, according to Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, it might not have happened without some encouragement from Rep. Adam Schifff (D-Burbank), who thought it was high time the two panels spoke face to face. And so, on Wednesday evening, they did. Not surprisingly, the meeting was not entirely without drama.Burbank owns the easement where the new terminal would likely be built.

Proposed replacement terminal

 A diagram of a proposed 355,000-square-foot, 14-gate replacement terminal located on a part of Bob Hope Airport property known as the “southwest quadrant,” which is currently used by the airport’s cargo carriers FedEx and UPS. Officials have said they will evaluate the site as an alternative to the preferred site north of the existing terminal.

(Courtesy of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority / July 16, 2015)

City leaders were not impressed that they did not receive the latest proposal for the expansion in time to allow them to make any presentation of their own terms this week. This put them in the position of having to ask for an extension to study the document.Airport officials were themselves hot under the collar over comments made by Burbank Councilman David Gordon questioning just how engaged they really are on issues related to high-speed rail.However, aside from a few verbal skirmishes, we believe the meeting went well, overall. The parties were both frank with each other, and it would seem they are making progress. The authority’s latest document includes a proposed amendment to the current governance agreement between the tri-cities that would require a “yes” vote from two authority commission members representing each of the three cities on certain decisions, such as whether or not to add more gates at the terminal. This “super-majority” amendment would give Burbank a stronger voting position, thereby allowing it to better protect the city’s interests.

We are encouraged to see these panels communicating. Clearly there are still some issues that will need to be worked out, but they appear to be traveling in the right direction.

By Burbank Leader Editorial Board July 18, 2015