Aviation Advisory Committee
August 16, 2006
The Aviation Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Vice Chairman James Hopmeier and members Jimmie Beavers, Clay McCutchan, Bryon Woram, Carlos Diaz, and Marty Martin. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), Administrative Services Manager (Tammy Simmons), and County Engineer (Roger Blaylock). Vice Chairman Hopmeier called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
McCutchan moved approval of the minutes from the July 19, 2006 meeting; Beavers seconded, and the vote carried unanimously. (6-0)
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. Issues
Hopmeier said Dale Holbert with Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. asked him to review the Pensacola Flight Watch issues. He said the Aviation Discovery Park in Pensacola will have an informal opening of Phase I on October 7, 2006. Hopmeier said the Grand Opening will be after Phase II is complete. He said Phase II will include the covered observation area, the Plaza of Honor, additional seating, and aviation related play equipment for children. Hopmeier said Phase II construction should begin 60 days ater sufficient funds have been committed. He said the Aviation Advisory Committee recommended a $15,000.00 contribution to Discovery Park, and the Board of County Commissioners approved this donation. Hopmeier said there are residents in the community that do not agree with the commitment, but he felt this donation is a good investment.
Hopmeier said Holbert also requested committee discussion regarding the condition of the PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) lights at Peter Prince Airport. He said according to Holbert, in late May and late June, the PAPI lights were inoperable. Hopmeier said on July 22 nd both the PAPI and runway lights were inoperable. He said to the best of Holbert’s knowledge there were no NOTAM’s or flight service stations informing pilots of inoperative runway or PAPI lights. Hopmeier said Holbert wants to know whether this is an issue with the contractor not taking timely action or a parts availability problem.
Diaz said there have been intermittent problems withthe lighting. He said the PAPI lights are currently working. Diaz said Ingram Electric is not as responsive as they have been in the past. He said Ingram Electric has new personnel that are not familiar with Peter Prince Airport lighting. He said the lighting system is old and frequently breaks down. Diaz suggested the county consider another electric company.
Beavers said it is his understanding the PAPI lights are supposed to be on 24-7. Diaz said the PAPI lights are not on continuously. He said the PAPI lights come on with the Super
Unicom because of the way the Super Unicom light sensor is installed. Beavers said the Aviation Advisory Committee voted for the PAPI lights to stay on 24-7. Diaz said he will call Ingram Electric to separate the circuits so the PAPI lights can stay on continuously.
There was discussion regarding Ingram Electric’s response time. Blaylock said there is not a response time noted in the contract. He said the county can advertise an RFP (Request for Proposals) on the electrical contract. Blaylock said either Ingram Electric is the lowest bidder or there are not a lot of electric companies repairing aviation lighting. Diaz notedthe runway lights are checked daily.
Beavers asked if there have been any adjustments to security at the airport with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) stepping up security. Diaz said everyone is aware of current events but airport securityremains the same.
Simmons provided a summarized plan of action to include FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) information regarding banner towing and copies of minimum standards from several airport facilities (Attachment in File). She said the committee may wish to decide on a recommendation to be presented to the Board of County Commissioners regarding banner towing operations. Simmons recommended the committee review the information provided for discussion at a future meeting. She asked the committee to provide the reasons for allowing or disapproving banner towing whena decision is made.
Simmons said requested two items from banner towing operations if the committee chooses to allow this operation. She said these items include the FAA required Certificate of Waiver and a certificate of liability insurance with Santa Rosa County named as the insured. Simmons briefly reviewed the information provided.
Hopmeier asked if there is anyway to expedite the airport minimum standards. He said this has been a topic of discussion by this committee for four or five years. Hopmeier said banner towing is one aspect of what is encompassed in a proper set of minimum standards. Blaylock said he hopes to have draft minimum standards for the committee to review at the next meeting. Simmons said she included minimum standards from several airports for review. There was discussion regarding the airport consultant’s task of providing minimum standards.
Diaz asked if the banner towing operation should be stopped until the issues are resolved. Walker said operation should stop until the county receives a copy of the FAA waiver and insurance verification. There was discussion regarding the FAA banner tow requirements that are not mandatory. Martin said he felt the county should proceed according to the recommended instructions from FAA. He said until Darren Meek can provide the county with the FAA waiver and liability insurance no banner towing operations at Peter Prince Airport will be allowed. Simmons discussed FAAadvisory circulars becoming mandatory upon acceptance ofFAAgrant funds.
McCutchan said this person has invested time and money into building a business. He said the banner tow season is through Labor Day. McCutchan asked if Meek will be grandfathered in if he provides the requested documentation. Beavers said he felt this will be inappropriate. He said this action could put FAAgrant funds in jeopardy.
There was discussion regarding Meek notifying Simmons about the banner towing operation before starting. Simmons said she did receive Meek’s notification, and she considered him as not having permission. She said she did not give him permission nor was she aware he was operating the banner towing business. Diaz said there have been prior banner towing businesses at the airport. He said if Meek has the FAA waiver and it is a public use airport, he may have assumed permission unless told otherwise. There was further discussion regarding the required documentation that should be provided to Santa Rosa County before operating a banner towing business from Peter Prince
Martin moved approval to curtailbanner towing operations at Peter Prince Airport until Santa Rosa County has the following items;
1. FAA waiver with provisions
2. Commercial pilot license
3. Liability insurance with county named as insured.
4. Current Physical
McCutchan seconded, and the vote carried unanimously. (6-0)
Martin asked if the county has heard from anyone regarding the CAP (Civil Air Patrol) building. Simmons said she has been unable to get a response from anyone with Civil Air Patrol regarding the building. Martin said he will provide contact information to Simmons. Blaylock said it is a county owned building and CAP is in violation of the lease. McCutchan said he will contact someone with CAP regarding the building.
Archie Collun said he has been a hangar tenant of the airport for about 36 years. He said Beavers reported him to the county for possibly being in violation of his lease agreement. There was discussion regarding illegal commercial operations in hangars and compliance with the lease agreement. Hopmeier said any lease compliance issue should be discussed with county staff. He recommended any non compliance issues be addressed with Simmons as the Airport Manager.
Dr. James E. Lilly said it would be nice to have an avionics shop or hamburger shop at the airport. Hopmeier said the Master Plan has designated areas set aside for commercial activities. He said no commercialactivity is allowed in the hangars.
The next scheduled meeting of the Aviation Advisory Committee will be on Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 5:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.