BURBANK -- Bob Hope Airport officials are seeking about $750,000 to design a taxiway extension and prepare a plan to consolidate rental-car lots now scattered throughout the area.
The extension set for discussion today by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority is slated for the north side of Runway 26, which runs east-west. It would allow aircraft to return to the parking area without using the runway.
But for the airport to obtain some $5.8 million in federal funds for the project, the agency needs to file a construction bid for Federal Aviation Administration review. Officials have proposed a $699,975 contract with DMJM-Harris to prepare the documents.
Airport spokesman Victor Gill said the extension, a high-priority safety improvement, will allow general-aviation aircraft to quickly get off the runway rather than use a portion of it to taxi.
Though critics believe the project will open the airport to more flights, it was among those allowed under the 2005 pact between the Airport Authority and the city of Burbank, which restricts development at the airport for up to a decade.
Meanwhile, the airport in May is slated to complete the relocation of a portion of Parking Lot A to make room for the taxiway extension.
The authority also is considering a $50,000 contract to Coplean Consulting to analyze how to best manage the 10 rental-car companies operating at the airport.
Gill said companies -- some with lots on airport property and some off-site -- have long considered developing a plan with the airport to reduce traffic and improve efficiency.
``Originally, we had hoped to have some kind of rental-car consolidation as part of the development agreement, but it had fallen out,'' he said.
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The airport is experiencing a parking crunch, and officials are urging passengers to hitch rides with family or friends, take shuttles or use Metrolink or other public transit.
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