Aviation Advisory Committee - May 18, 2005
The Aviation Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Jimmie Beavers, Vice-Chairman James Hopmeier, Garieth Pelham, and Marty Martin. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), County Engineer (Roger Blaylock), and Administrative Services Manager (Tammy Simmons). Chairman Beavers called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
Review/approval of the Minutes
Martin moved approval of the March 16, 2005 minutes; Pelham seconded, and the vote carried unanimously (4-0).
Davis Glass, AMS (Aircraft Management Services), said Diaz is away on a family emergency. He said the GCO (Ground Communication Outlet) is up and running, and the Superunicom seems to be working well. Glass said the new frequency is a great relief in our operation because it has cut down on adjacent airport traffic transmissions.
He said in about two weeks a new SRA (Silent Ramp Attendant) unit will be installed and operating. Glass said this is a 24 hour a day 7 day a week fuel service dispenser. He said we are upgrading the current model to a Model 3000 made by Applied Technology. Glass said this first class unit will make fuel transactions simpler.
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. Issues
Dale Holbert, Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. said we are still pursuing updates and corrections in the different airport facility directories. He said we are trying to get the directories completely accurate and up to date. Holbert said the only item needing to be changed in the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is how the lights operate at Peter Prince Airport.
He said there is a change in the Class C operations at Whiting Field. Holbert said Whiting Field will not be talking to TRACON on routine flights out of the practice areas. He said air traffic control will still have the aircraft on radar, but there will not be any communication. Martin said Whiting Field is going back to pre 9-11 status.
Holbert said Flight Watch distributed information on the new tower located at the Alabama border. Beavers asked what the tower will be used for. Martin said, as far as he can tell, the tower will be for one of the new digital television stations. He said it is hard to light a tower as it is going up. Martin said the individual contractor notifies FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that the tower is under construction, but the notification does not always get into the system. He said he has a system he uses to get the word out to everyone, and he will continue to use it.
Blaylock said two Joint Participation Agreements were signed by the Board of County Commissioners and have been programmed into the DOT’s (Department of Transportation) work program. He said FAA has not come forth with any money to fund the projects, but the county had to execute the agreements to keep from losing the funding. Blaylock said the county has three years to complete the projects.
He said he has requested DOT execute a Joint Participation Agreement for the additional 12 hangars. Blaylock said this will allow the county to bid all 24 hangars at one time. He said there will be 24 hangars under construction this summer, as well as realignment of taxi way A, run up aprons, run way safety area, and the common taxi ways.
Blaylock said the automated control for the security gate was relocated by Ingram Electric. He said the control was tested and it is burned up. Blaylock said a new unit has been ordered. Blaylock said Ingram Electric will include lightning protectors with the new unit. Beavers asked if there is an estimated delivery time on the replacement unit. Blaylock said the new unit should be installed and working within 30 days. Beavers said currently the gate is supposed to be manually locked, and it is rare to find it locked.
Beavers asked if all of the hurricane repairs are complete. Blaylock said no. He said it is in the contractor’s agreement to provide mitigation for the doors and that work has not been completed. He said this will allow for the doors to be anchored down once closed. Blaylock said he will email the committee with an update on the timeframe for completion.
Simmons said all of the repairs, with the exception of the mitigation, have been completed. She said she sent letters to all tenants requesting they let her know if there is a repair in their hangar that was missed. Simmons said she has received 6 to 8 comments, and they were forwarded to Stephen Furman. She said Furman will contact the contractor to get the remaining repairs completed.
Beavers asked when the new keys will be distributed to the tenants. Blaylock said his recommendation will be to wait until completion of construction. Simmons said the tenants are eager to get the keys because they are unable to lock the hangar doors; however, the county has not started charging lease fees either. She said she agrees with Blaylock’s recommendation with regard to distributing keys.
Beavers asked when the ramp will be vacuumed. Blaylock said sweeping the ramp will be a Public Works issue. He said the contractor will be responsible for running a magnet to pick up screws and washers. Hopmeier said there is still a tremendous amount of debris at the airport. Simmons said she will handle the clean up. She said at the last meeting Martin suggested the best way to clean the ramp is with a vacuum truck. Martin said the debris is just moved and not picked up with the sweepers.
Beavers asked if there have been any reports concerning the PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) lights being out. Blaylock said he has not received any reports concerning the lights. Glass said he is not aware of any problems. Beavers said recently the lights were not working, and he requested Blaylock check them out.
Hopmeier requested the crop duster issue be revisited. He said he does not feel it is a good idea for crop dusters to operate on the ramp around other aircraft. Hopmeier said the crop dusters are courteous and professional, but it is a huge risk with that kind of activity on the ramp with other aircraft in the area. Blaylock said this is one of the issues PBS&J (Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan) will address in their study. He said the Board of County Commissioners can take action if this committee wishes to recommend the county cease this type of operation. Pelham said the committee previously recommended the operation move across the runway to the unimproved field. Hopmeier said there is a cleared area where the crop dusters can operate on the southwest side of the airport off of the western taxi way. He said this will get their operation away from the aircraft.
Blaylock asked Glass if the FBO is controlling the crop duster activities. Glass said he usually monitors the operations. Martin said there are several groups conducting the crop dusting activities. Blaylock said Glass needs to track the operations and send them to the county to get authorization to do this type of activity. He said this is the only way the county can communicate on where and how they can operate.
Glass said the fertilizer trucks are heavy, and they may have a problem getting stuck in the unimproved area. He described how the fertilizer is loaded into the aircraft. There was further discussion on the crop dusters using the unimproved area. Blaylock said the trucks can operate off the 24’ pavement and repair any damages. Martin described the crop duster operation at Evergreen. He said he felt they should be required to schedule ahead of time and some rules should be in affect. Beavers said someone will need to talk to the crop dusters about procedures. Walker said he and Simmons will get a list of the crop dusters and send letters outlining the location to use and regulations. Walker requested Martin provide him with a list of the crop dusters.
There was discussion on the $1.00 per ton fee charged for use of the airport. Blaylock said he will survey Evergreen and Brewton regarding their fees.
Walker said upon completion of all repairs the contractor will be paid. He said the keys will be distributed to the tenants at this time, and the hangar lease fees will be reactivated. opmeier asked if the lost revenue will affect any of the airport projects. Blaylock said the reserves will be strapped, and the county can acquire a loan if one is needed.
Walker discussed a letter he received from Robert Arnold who is with the Eglin AFB Encroachment Committee (Attachment in File). He said Arnold is requesting consolidation of military representation for the Aviation Advisory Committee. Walker said Arnold has coordinated with NAS Whiting Field to allow Marty Martin to serve as the single military representative for both Eglin AFB and NAS Whiting Field. He said the resolution establishing this Board will need to be amended.
Pelham said he will be retiring July 1, 2005 and has enjoyed his time serving on this committee. Beavers thanked Pelham for serving on the committee.
Holbert said people are very concerned with the corrosive effect of fertilizer on the aircraft located on the east ramp. He said someone is designated to check the airport lights periodically at most airports. Holbert said to rely solely on input is not good.
Holbert asked about the east access road. Blaylock said this is part of the Master Plan process. He said the east access road is programmed in the 2005-06 projects. Blaylock discussed implementation of the Master Plan according to the way DOT has it programmed. He discussed the order in which the county will contract the airport improvements.
Martin said on May 22, 2005 Whiting Field will be flying at South Field between the hours of 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m. Martin said the only OLF to be used Sunday, May 22, 2005 will be Pace Field. He said there will be no flying over the Memorial Day week-end.
Martin said the JLUS (Joint Land Use Study) study received an American Planning Association Award and a Planning and Zoning Award. He said that one document, completed under this county’s influence, has received two major awards. Martin said county staff needs to be commended for this effort.
The next scheduled meeting for the Aviation Advisory Committee will be on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 at 5:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 5:50 p.m.