The Burbank Airport governing body has joined the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in calling for installation of a federally operated control tower at Whiteman Air Park in Pacoima for safety reasons.
The move was spurred in part by an incident last month, in which the pilot of a Continental Airlines MD-80, a stretched version of the DC-9 jetliner, mistook the tiny county-owned airstrip for Burbank Airport. The pilot came within a few hundred feet of landing at Whiteman before the Burbank tower warned him to pull up.
A landing by the jetliner on the narrow, lightly paved runway probably would have ended in a disastrous crash, aircraft sources and Whiteman administrators said.
Commissioners of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority voted unanimously to support a request by the county Board of Supervisors "to the Federal Aviation Administration that a control tower be constructed and operated at Whiteman at the earliest possible date."