Why does Burbank Bob Hope Airport need a new terminal?

Last month, I wrote a front-page story detailing all the reasons Burbank Bob Hope Airport believes it must construct a new $300 million + terminal with 14 gates. But why read the story when you can look at an info graphic with the same information? The airport Tweeted this out this morning:

What do you think? Does Burbank need a new terminal?

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Will a new terminal mean more passengers for Burbank Bob Hope Airport?

Burbank Bob Hope Airport is exploring building a new 14-gate terminal. Photo: Burbank Airport.

Burbank Bob Hope Airport is exploring building a new 14-gate terminal. Photo: Burbank Airport.

Within the next decade, Burbank Bob Hope Airport wants to build a new terminal with all the goodies passengers have come to expect, like spacious gate areas, plenty of power outlets and popular concession brands. Early plans call for a 14-gate terminal with about 350,000 square feet, making it about  150,000 square feet larger than the current building.

This is old news. But for a story published today, I wanted to know whether the new terminal might help Burbank Airport reverse its slide in passenger traffic. The quaint facility built in 1930 is not thriving. In 2013, Bob Hope Airport served 3.88 million passengers, a decline of 5.2 percent from the previous year. At the airport’s peak, in 2007, more than 5.9 million passenger used it.

So will a fancy new building — one that might cost between $300 and $400 million — reverse Burbank’s decline? Not likely, experts say.

“The problem is the communities want to have a good front door and that’s nonsense,” said Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation industry consultant. “The best airport is the one that the customer doesn’t remember. Unless you have asbestos falling from the ceiling or rats chewing away the ticket counters, you don’t build a new terminal and get more traffic.”

Burbank’s problem isn’t really its terminal. The problem is Los Angeles International Airport, where four major airlines — United, American, Delta and Southwest — are vying for market share. That’s where the air service expansion is coming.

“You have something called LAX you can get to reasonably easily that has a whole lot more air service and airlines,” Boyd told me. “LAX is the giant sucking sound.”

If Burbank is to thrive again, some say, it will to be because LAX has reached its breaking point. No one is sure when that will be, but LAX is on pace to break its all-time passenger traffic record this year. It was set in 2000 at 67.3 million passengers.

““We don’t really believe that building a new terminal building is going to induce new service,” Burbank airport Executive Director Dan Feger said. “What we do think over time is that over time the congestion of LAX will drive passengers to Burbank.”

What do you think? Are Boyd and Feger right? Will Burbank only thrive again when LAX can’t handle more air traffic? Or is it possible that a new terminal will make the airport more popular?

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TSA Precheck comes to Burbank Bob Hope Airport

TSA Precheck — the federal agency’s fast-track through airport security — has finally reached Burbank Bob Hope Airport, officials said Thursday.

Travelers on Delta, Alaska, Southwest and United who are eligible for precheck can now use the service at Burbank’s A and B Terminals. But the release says the service will only be available during “peak periods” which leads me to believe precheck will not be available at all times.

The program allows travelers who give certain information to the government and pay a small fee to go through expedited security screening. For awhile, frequent travelers lauded it, saying they could speed through aircraft security. But as more people have become eligible to use it, many have said queues have gotten a lot longer. (For more, check out Brett Snyder’s recent post: Why is the TSA Trying to Ruin Pre Check?)

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Burbank Bob Hope Airport exploring new terminal building

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Burbank Bob Hope Airport is in dire need of an update. And now it looks like it will finally get it.

Airport officials said this week that they want to build a 355,000 square foot replacement terminal with 14 aircraft gates. Officials have been signaling for a long time they wanted to build a new facility, but this is the first time they said exactly how big it might be.

If built, the terminal would be 68 percent bigger than the existing building, constructed in 1930. The old terminal would eventually be knocked down, according to officials.

“The Airport’s current terminal does not meet current seismic design standards or comply with FAA standards regarding the prescribed distance between runways and terminals,” the airport said in a press release.

Want to learn more about the airport’s plans? There’s public meeting tonight (Wednesday, Oct. 10) at 6 p.m. in the Burbank Bob Hope Airport Terminal A Skyroom. Parking tickets will be validated.

Also, here’s a PDF put together by the airport detailing the proposal.

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Burbank Bob Hope Airport: Security breach leads to flight delays

UPDATE: TSA Spokesman Nico Melendez explain what happened in the security breach at Burbank Bob Hope Airport. “The walk through metal detectors were operating improperly so … they had everyone evacuate the sterile side of the airport.”

ORIGINAL POST: Every passenger at Burbank Bob Hope Airport was re-screened by security officials late Thursday morning after officials discovered a security beach, airport spokesman Victor Gill said.

“We had a terminal evacuation at about 10 minutes after 11 today due to a termination by TSA that there were probably several passengers that were not properly screened,” Gill said. “The re-screening of the passengers began at 11:32. All of them have been re-secreened.”

Gill said somewhere between 200 and 300 people had to go through security again after officials required what is known as a “terminal dump.” He said five or six flights were delayed as a result, but only for 15 to 30 minutes.

Gill said he did not know specifically what caused the issue.

“They don’t got into their procedures too much about what went wrong,” Gill said of the TSA. “But they determined that several passengers may have been improperly screened and once they got though it was impossible to find them.”

Gill said security issues require evacuations at the airport about once or twice each year.

“They are very infrequent,” he said.

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