An airplane lands over W. Empire Avenue at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Tuesday, April 25, 2011.

An airplane lands over W. Empire Avenue at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Tuesday, April 25, 2011. (Raul Roa/Staff photographer / April 24, 2012)

Bob Hope Airport officials this week authorized more than $82 million in bonds to pay for ancillary structures associated with a new regional transportation center.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority signed off on the two, 30-year bonds for $82.7 million at a special meeting Monday — shoring up the last major piece of funding for center that will bring public transit and rental car facilities together for what officials hope will make for a better customer experience.

Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director, called it a “historic event” for the authority.

“I think the authority is making a real substantial investment in the community, and in the airport’s future and sustainability,” Feger said, adding that the project is a “very significant enhancement to how transportation is done in Southern California, where you have a partnership between rental car agencies, transportation agencies and airport authorities.”

The bonds approved on Monday will go toward a parking structure and new rental car facilities that will be part of the planned $108.9-million transit center, according to a report to the authority. The bonds will be repaid by revenue generated by rental car companies.

The cost to the rental car companies — revenue from which will pay for the bonds — is about $81.6 million, said Victor Gill, a spokesman for the airport.

The balance of the project cost, roughly $26 million, will be paid for by the airport authority, passenger facility charges and a $1-million federal grant, according to the report.

Authority President Don Brown lauded airport officials for having the “vision to even having us start looking at this a number of years ago, and getting us to this point.”

Phase 1 of the project consists of the regional transportation center with a consolidated rental car facility, a transit station, a covered elevated walkway with a “moving sidewalk” and a new parking structure.

The second phase of the project consists of a new pedestrian bridge over Empire Avenue connecting the center to a Metrolink station, acquisition of parking lots adjacent to the airport and reconfiguration of certain runway uses.

Funding for that portion of the project has yet to be secured.

Airport officials expect to break ground on Phase 1 in July.

“It’s a unique situation, and we hope that it becomes a role model in the future for how public agencies can make transportation improvements using the variety of resources that are available here,” Feger said.

-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Twitter: @mariahsin