Agendas and Minutes

Airport Commission (View All)

Regular Monthly Meeting

Agenda
Tuesday, November 02, 2004

ASHLAND AIRPORT COMMISSION
November 2, 2004
MINUTES

Members Present: Chairman Paul Rostykus, Bob Skinner, FBO, Richard Hendrickson, Lincoln Zeve, Vicki Griesinger, Bill Skillman, Paul Westerman
Staff: Paula Brown, Dawn Lamb
Members Absent: Goa Lobaugh, Alan DeBoer, Claudia Stockwell

1. CALL TO ORDER:  10:00 AM
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2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  October 12th minutes approved with changes
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3. PUBLIC FORUM:
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4. OLD BUSINESS:
A.  ALP Master Plan Update
Further responses were distributed from Century West Engineering. The commission reviewed them for further clarification on some of the issues. Brad Moore, Century West has resigned and our new engineer from Century West is Ned Dempsey. He will be coordinating with staff.

The threshold displacement would not affect the airport category for type or number of aircraft. Skinner asked what needed to be reflected in the Master Plan. There needs to be options and priorities that show we are willing and capable of solving the safety issue if the FAA begins to question the road clearance. Skinner rarely if ever sees vehicles on the private road and has never had an issue with planes. Brown felt this would not be an issue with the FAA, but it is necessary for options to be shown in the plan. Zeve asked what the road alignment might cost, Brown felt the costs could extend from $5,000 to $25,000 or more depending on the negotiations. The money would either be out of the airport maintenance fund or from other monies from the FAA. The Commission would much rather spend that money on other benefits to the airport land. It would make better financial sense to displace the threshold by 10 feet. The options should be spelled out, but not put into effect because this is not an issue at this time. The priority will be to displace the threshold by ten feet and if that is not enough, then look into moving the road on the property.

Helicopter usage on the lease land could be concern for the homes near the airport. We can ask David Miller to further define the FAA Part 77 regulations for helicopters. Hendrickson pointed out that we will have helicopter activity one way or another. If we have a separate area for aircraft activity any helicopter leaving the new hangars will be stirring up dust. He would prefer that the aircraft and helicopters were kept separate. Zeve suggested using the land adjacent to the riparian corridor for commercial use if they are compatible to FAA regulations and guidelines. For the helicopter use, powerlines may need to be buried underground or have visibility objects attached. Skinner felt with adequate asphalt, dust could be controlled. The helicopters can pick up and fly about ten feet up and there is less dust. Zeve suggested adopting a protocol for the safe hovering practices. Skinner felt a less experienced pilot is safer helitaxiing. Rostykus asked if the FAA regulations pertaining to this space would limit the helicopter usage. Brown will work with the FAA to release the restrictions so that we can advertise potential helicopter and mixed commercial use. Brown asked if the commission would like to pursue a formal release on the lease land. Skillman supported the mixed commercial if the lease is short to medium term. He is unsupportive if the lease will limit the future airport needs. He supports retaining control over the area. Brown thought a leaseholder may find limits a drawback. Zeve supported asking the FAA for release. Hendrickson agreed that the space if needed for financially sustaining the airport, but we are an aviation use field. Rostykus felt that petitioning the FAA would be a beneficial move. Zeve felt that not having any space ready for a company to occupy now is a hindrance.

Hendrickson motioned for staff and Century West to look further into the helicopter requirements, begin the process petitioning the FAA to release the restrictions on the leased land for commercial mixed use and helicopter use; and to show the helicopter / commercial use area on the master plan alternative. Zeve seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Skillman motioned to leave in the options for runway 12 as displacing the threshold as the first option and moving the road as a last resort. Hendrickson seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Goals and Strategic planning will begin at the next meeting in December. Skinner will try to gather examples from other airports. Brown felt that Century West staff was fine with what was discussed and she didn't foresee a reason to change the layouts. The plan will have alternative 5-1, 5-2 and a preferred alternative plan. The CIP funding will be included in the next version showing our next ten years of project funding.

Brown will work out the process for the City approval and adoption. There may be another public meeting. Century West will assist staff in obtaining FAA approval of the master plan. A full draft should be available prior to the December meeting.

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B.  AIP Update
The construction is much further along then expected. Contractor's encountered some drainage issues. Some of the overlay was felt unnecessary so it was removed from the project. This reduced some cost.

There was an incident where a pilot leased one of Skinner's aircraft and got too close to some road equipment that was too close to the taxiway and hit the tip of the wing. There was $1,200 damage that Skinner has been working with LTM to reconcile. Skinner has been actively working with the road crews that are working at the airport to educate them on proper distances and safety concerns for the airport.

The trenching continues in near the FBO office and hangars to connect them to Ashland Electric instead of Pacific Power. The tie-downs will be completed soon. The color distinction will need to be a post project addition. It will be easiest to do 12 inch circles around the chains and bases. Skinner still would like the colors to indicate the parking for configurations; blue for transient, red for maintenance and all others yellow.

During the trenching, a storm drain line was found to be connected to Steve Green's hangar. The painting business has been an increasing concern. The line has now been metered to show usage. This will also give us leverage to enforce the SASO requirements that Green has been remiss in obtaining. He is not meeting legal requirements to operate a business on the airfield.

The beacon has been ordered and staff was involved in the submittal process. The beacon did require an extra accessory that increased the degree of the beam. The beacon was funded out of our 5% match because it was not an approved piece of the initial AIP.

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4. NEW BUSINESS:
A.  Superunicom
The Superunicom had been stuck in the FAA approval process for quite some time and has finally been approved. The unfortunate part is that we spent the money elsewhere. The benefit is that the approved system is actually better than the system we would have gotten. The system now has been upgraded to an AWOS weather system. The system has minimal calibration that can be done via satellite link, which makes the maintenance very easy. The commission needs to reapply for funding for the system. The commission felt the safety benefits from the pilot actuated system would be priceless to the airport. The system automatically contacts incoming pilots and gives direction, weather and other information depending on how the pilot responds. It will be a huge improvement over visually seeing the windsock. This also allows out of area callers to receive a weather report via phone.

The cost of the system is $50,000. Rostykus encouraged Skinner to contact other airports that have installed the system to see how it is working. The installation would only require a 110 watt power line which is what is currently in the windsock pole. This could take two and a half years to find the funding. It will need to be listed as a priority in our goals and AIP projects. Skillman felt that purchasing the Superunicom would be a safety and utility benefit to the airport and should be a high priority. Westerman asked if this could be a lease option for faster possession. Brown will need to look into this. There still remains 18 years on the fuel tank payoff. Zeve asked if the City would fund the purchase. Brown felt that with the $325,000 just borrowed for the T-hangars, it would be an inopportune time to approach the City for money. Zeve felt that the hangars would be a good example since they are full and producing money for the airport. The City has been wonderful about supporting the airport. In seven years time, the airport will be making money. There has been large growth at the airport in the last ten years. Brown reminded the commission that right now $50,000 will hurt the budget.

Rostykus asked when the next FAM or AIP can support funding the Superunicom. Brown could go to local funding sources like SODA. Westerman asked if approaching the carriers that use the airport for fog relief would be beneficial. For companies like Fed Ex or UPS it is a large coordination to relocate deliveries from Medford. If Ashland is also foggy, they will land in Klamath Falls which means they need to dispatch their delivery vehicles to Klamath Falls. This would give them an instant answer on whether Ashland is accessible. Greisinger felt that this would be a worthwhile question to pose to the companies. They may help subsidize the costs if the benefit pencils out.

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5. AIRPORT MANAGER REPORT/FBO REPORT/AIRPORT ASSOCIATION:
A. Status of Airport, Financial Report, Review of Safety Reports
Some clean-up work still needs to be done from the hangar construction. There is a section on the end of the hangars that would be nice to landscape to keep it from turning into a weed patch. Hendrickson said large rocks similar to Sandler's would be nice. Brown will look into this with Jim Olson for costs. Adroit will be finishing items from their punchlist this week. The waiting list is still 25 - 30 names long even after filling the hangars.

The fire marshal inspection will have to wait until we have a fire marshal. We will work out access to the hangars at that time.

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6. NEXT MEETING DATE:  December 7, 9:00 a.m.
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ADJOURN:  Meeting adjourned at 10:30 AM

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