Throwback Thursday: A United Airlines Boeing 767 at Burbank Airport


Burbank Bob Hope Airport near Los Angeles is among the most challenging airports for airlines and pilots in the United States. It has short runways, and one runway is so close to the terminal building that it no longer meets federal safety standards, part of of the reason Burbank wants to build a new terminal.

Today, Burbank is essentially a regional airport, with nearly all of its departures to cities west of Denver. (One exception is a JetBlue flight to New York.) For scheduled passenger service, no airline flies anything larger than a Boeing 737 or A320. 

But the airport can handle larger aircraft - UPS flew an Airbus A300 widebody today to Des Moines - and apparently United once flew Boeing 767s from Burbank.

Does anyone know where United flew these 767s back in 1986? [UPDATE: We have an answer. See below.]

ANSWER: My readers amaze me. One of you found a Feb. 3, 1987 story in the Los Angeles Times called, "United Ends Wide-Body Jet Flights at Burbank."

Apparently for seven months in 1986 and 1987, United flew a Boeing 767 to Chicago. The Times say local residents were irate about the widebody jet, both for safety and noise reasons. 

"United heavily advertised the inauguration of its service from Burbank," the newspaper said. "On safety grounds, the homeowners objected both to the size of the plane and to allowing United, which at that time had no Burbank flights, to add to the number of flights there."

United replaced the 767 with a Boeing 737-300.

This is what one person from the area said today on Twitter.