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Shifting of Planes to Cut Car Spaces

April 10, 1986|DOUG SMITH | Times Staff Writer

The Burbank Airport authority has agreed under protest to the Federal Aviation Administration's demand that it move the airport's passenger boarding area to get parked planes farther from a runway.

Acting on a committee's recommendation, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted to eliminate two automobile parking lots east of the terminal building to make room for the new boarding area.

The plan was submitted to the FAA Tuesday along with a plea for federal money for the work.

Planes would park diagonally in the new boarding area in such a way that no part of a plane would extend beyond the terminal building. The new boarding arrangement could be completed within six months, the authority said.

Passengers now get on and off airplanes in an area that is closer to the east-west runway than the terminal.

Both the boarding area and the 56-year-old terminal are closer to the runway than modern FAA regulations allow and the airport has been under FAA orders for several years to move the terminal.

Plans to build a new terminal on the northeast side of the airport fell through in December when the Department of Defense ruled that the proposed site was too close to the "Skunk Works" where Lockheed does secret military work.

Last month, chastising the authority for failing to make progress, the FAA gave it until April 18 to come up with short-term safety measures and to deliver a new plan for moving the terminal.

The FAA suggested moving the boarding area as a short-term safety measure.

Although giving in to that demand Monday, the authority adopted a statement to the FAA protesting its consequences and told the FAA that there is no new plan to move the terminal.

The changes approved Monday will reduce the number of aircraft parking positions, making it hard for airlines to maintain the existing level of service, and will eliminate 500 auto parking spaces, the statement said.

Authority members also asked the FAA for permission to build another parking structure to replace those spaces, and demanded that the FAA help finance the project.

"The authority expects FAA to contribute financially in all elements . . . including apron reconstruction, concourse area replacement, public parking area replacement and baggage claim area relocation," the statement said.

In a stern letter accompanying the plan, authority President Robert Garcin demanded a meeting with Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole and FAA Administrator Donald D. Engen to help work out a long-term solution.

"Since our agencies agree the terminal relocation is the answer and since our efforts to find a suitable terminal site have proved futile, we feel the solution cannot occur at this level," Garcin said.

Garcin said that the next best plan for a new terminal location fell through last week as a result of talks between the authority and Lockheed over the possible use of property immediately southeast of the terminal on which Lockheed has office and manufacturing buildings.

Lockheed representatives informed the authority that the replacement cost of the buildings would be more than $190 million, Garcin said.

Garcin said the only remaining site proposed for a new terminal, on the northwest side of the airport, is "not a viable alternative."

Garcin said the problem with that site is that building there would cost too much.

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