The Burbank Airport Authority voted unanimously Monday to spend up to $35,000 to hire a public relations firm to draft a document outlining the benefits of the facility to surrounding communities.
The work of the firm, Braun Ketchum of Los Angeles, would counter a recent wave of criticism from airport neighbors and elected officials over plans to build a new, larger terminal that could serve about 5.4 million passengers by 1998.
The airport served 3.7 million passengers during the 1990-91 fiscal year. Neighbors say the larger terminal will mean more flights, more airport noise and increased traffic around the airport.
But airport officials said the public relations firm was needed to promote the airport as a vital transportation and job center that benefits the surrounding communities economically. The contract with Braun Ketchum will end by late January.
As part of the contract, Braun Ketchum will hold a series of interviews with business and community leaders to determine the public's perception of the airport, according to airport officials.