Officials who oversee Bob Hope Airport in Burbank have decided to seek federal approval of a controversial nighttime ban on flight operations to reduce noise in nearby communities, creating concern for residents living around Van Nuys Airport, which could absorb the overflow of flights.
The proposed curfew would prohibit flights by airlines, cargo operations, couriers and private pilots between 10 p.m. and 6:59 a.m., with exceptions for emergencies, law enforcement, medical flights and military aircraft, the Los Angeles Times reported. Currently, the airlines operate under a voluntary agreement not to fly between those hours.
"This is a historic day," Dan Feger, the executive director of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which operates Bob Hope, said in remarks reported by The Times. "No airport has asked for a federal restriction like this. We believe that hundreds of thousands of residents can obtain noise relief while keeping the airport viable."
The proposal has been the focal point of one of an acrimonious homeowner battle in the San Fernando Valley, where fear has been expressed that the curfew would shift flights from Bob Hope to Van Nuys Airport, increasing the noise problem there.
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The authority's nine-member commission on Monday unanimously approved the airport's application to the Federal Aviation Administration and an analysis of the proposed curfew.
If approved by the FAA, it would be the first time such restrictions would apply to so-called Stage 3 aircraft, which include the quietest jets. As at several other airports around the country, the nighttime operations of older, noisier so-called Stage 2 aircraft have been restricted at Bob Hope since 1981, The Times reported.
FAA officials will have 180 days to approve or reject the curfew, which could reduce jet noise for more than 180,000 residents in Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles.