With Burbank residents’ approval of Measure B last week, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is moving forward to build a 14-gate replacement terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Last Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Registrar finished tallying the votes for the ballot measure, which garnered 20,121 votes, or 69%, in favor of giving airport officials the green light to construct a new facility either on a plot of land in the northeast quadrant of the airport known as the B-6 parcel or on the southwest corner of the airfield.
There were 8,978 votes, or about 31%, opposing the measure.
“When that replacement terminal is open, it’s going to increase the level of customer experience tremendously,” said Frank Miller, the airport’s executive director. “This is going a long way toward showing just how great of a city Burbank is and the entire region as well.”
Miller, who in September replaced executive director Dan Feger, said he was surprised that the margin of victory was so large. He expected the ballot measure to pass with about 55% of the votes.
“It was a very strong showing, and I was very encouraged by that,” Miller said. “It really showed the support of the community and what they want to see for the airport.”
Now with the approval of Burbank voters, the airport authority is preparing to do soil samples at the sites to test their conditions. Miller said he expects the testing to take about three to five months.
“It’ll be probably sometime in February when we make a final report and identify if there are any issues with the soil,” he said. “We really don’t anticipate that. It’s just one of those squares that we have to fill as we move forward.”
When soil sampling is completed, the airport authority will work with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop an airport layout plan, which “shows the footprint of the entire airport and where buildings and runways are,” Miller said.
“We have to amend our [airport layout plan] to reflect that there is a new location for the terminal and to update some of the drawings that are all part of that main set,” he said.
Under the development agreement between Burbank and the airport authority, which went into effect with the passage of Measure B, the airport authority will demolish the existing 232,000-square-foot terminal once the new facility is up and running.
Airport officials have been leaning toward building a 355,000-square-foot, 14-gate terminal on the B-6 parcel. They have also looked at constructing either a 355,000-square-foot or 232,000-square-foot terminal, both with 14 gates, on the southwest location.
Miller isn’t a stranger to airport terminal projects. Most recently, he oversaw the completion of a 250,000-square-foot replacement terminal at San Antonio International Airport.
Despite his experience and approval of the voters, some opponents of the replacement terminal still have concerns about the project.
Those against the project still say that the issue was rushed onto the November ballot and, instead, should have been placed on the April municipal election ballot.
Others fear that the airport authority will build more than 14 gates at the new terminal and that residents won’t have any say about future expansions now that Measure B has been approved.
Anthony Clark Carpio, firstname.lastname@example.org