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Burbank Airport

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A federal judge last week dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority against the City of Burbank, saying the court has no jurisdiction to determine the case.

For the time being, the ruling lets stand a state law that empowers Burbank to approve or veto the acquisition of land for a new expanded airport terminal. The Airport Authority had challenged that law, saying the federally regulated airport should not be subject to state law.

The ruling has the potential to delay the building of a new expanded terminal, which the Airport Authority supports but Burbank officials consider too big.

Burbank officials would like to see a new airport terminal with up to 16 gates and a cap on passenger traffic of no more than 10 percent over 1996 levels. But the Airport Authority would like to build a terminal with as many as 27 gates and no cap on passenger traffic.

Last week’s lawsuit was just one of five filed by the two sides in their feud over the size and scope of the planned new terminal.

Burbank Mayor Bill Wiggins, in a prepared statement, applauded the ruling, calling it “an important victory for the people of Burbank.”

“It is our hope that today’s decision will cause the Airport Authority to reconsider the inflexible approach it has taken with its expansion plan,” he said in the statement.

Airport Authority spokesman Victor Gill said the authority will likely appeal the decision in federal court or take the case to state court.

Gill added that, despite the court’s dismissal, the Airport Authority will continue with its plans to acquire land for an expanded terminal.

Douglas Young

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