The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday called upon the Federal Aviation Administration to lift a ban on easterly takeoffs at Burbank Airport during repairs of the north-south runway this fall.
A unanimous council vote also instructed the city's attorneys to explore legal action to require easterly takeoffs during the repair work, expected to take 35 days.
The action was requested by four council members concerned about the danger of aircraft arriving and departing in the same flight path over their San Fernando Valley districts, west of the airport.
Unless the FAA lifts the ban, jets will have to land from the west and take off to the west while the runway is repaired, airport officials say. The ban was imposed in 1986, after the FAA ruled that the passenger terminal is too close to the eastern end of the east-west runway.
About half the commercial airliners now land from the west, said an airport spokesman, the other half from the north. Landings from the east and south are generally not feasible because of wind. Fewer than 10% of takeoffs are to the west. Most commercial airliners take off to south, then turn west over North Hollywood.
Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, one of those who sought Tuesday's vote, argued that all aircraft took off to the east for four months in 1979 when repairs to the north-south runway were last made.
Councilman Joel Wachs, who also asked for Tuesday's action, criticized the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for not supporting a temporary lifting of the ban.
Wachs contended that the authority "just doesn't want to be on record" recognizing that easterly takeoffs are safe for fear that it will lead to a permanent shifting of half of the takeoffs to the east. Easterly takeoffs, which would send planes over Burbank and Glendale, have been long sought by East Valley residents affected by noise.