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'Bob Hope Airport' Could Land in Burbank

November 04, 2003|Caitlin Liu | Times Staff Writer

Burbank Airport commissioners voted unanimously Monday to rename the airfield "Bob Hope Airport."

The latest name change for Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport -- the fifth in its 73-year history -- could happen as early as Dec. 17, pending approval by the three cities with joint powers over the airfield.

"It's a nice tribute to a gentleman who gave so much to everyone in this country," said Charles Lombardo, president of the airport authority.

Hope, who died July 27 at age 100, was a longtime Toluca Lake resident who flew in and out of the airport countless times. In his later years, he kept his private jet there.

"Burbank Airport was home," said his daughter, Linda. "As they say, home is where the heart is. And this was where his heart was in terms of aviation."

No one can pinpoint how the naming idea came about, but Bob Hope may well have planted the seeds.

Years ago, after Orange County officials renamed their airfield after his friend, John Wayne, the comedian grew wistful. "Wouldn't it be nice to have an airport named after me someday?" he asked his family. Linda Hope laughingly recalled, "He was always a little jealous of John Wayne."

The airport's new designation would be purely nominal. Airlines would continue using the airport's code, "BUR," on tickets and baggage tags, and travelers would look up flights on airport monitors using its city name.

If approved, a new airport sign bearing the comedian's moniker could be unveiled in December.

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