L.A. Dismisses Long-Standing Lawsuit Over Airport Planning

Case Was Last Remnant of Los Angeles’ 1993 Challenge to Replacement Terminal EIR; Authority Dismisses Counterclaim Against LAX Master Plan

BURBANK, Calif., December 3, 2001 — In a move that brought closure to eight years of litigation, the City of Los Angeles has dismissed a lawsuit against the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority that began in 1993 as a challenge to the Authority’s environmental impact report for land acquisition and a replacement terminal project.

A Superior Court accepted the EIR for the terminal in 1995 following the addition of a supplemental volume, but the case remained alive as Los Angeles amended its complaint to argue that the environmental impact of a wide variety of potential airport projects should be analyzed as a group in the context of a master plan.  Only one of the projects, a combined fuel storage facility, was constructed.

Last year, the Authority filed a cross petition against Los Angeles, alleging that the master plan EIR for Los Angeles International Airport failed to address impacts resulting from a shift of flights from LAX to Burbank Airport.

“This is an example of a legal case that outlived the circumstances that brought it about in the first place,” said Dios Marrero, executive director of Burbank Airport.  “We were close to a settlement with Los Angeles a year and a half ago.  The city knew the case wasn’t going anywhere, but the issue got caught up in the politics of the city’s mayoral election campaign.

“When Los Angeles abandoned the LAX master plan this year, the Authority decided to simply bow out and dismiss its complaint, and now Los Angeles has decided there is really no controversy to litigate,” he said.

The case was dismissed October 24th.