Aviation Advisory Committee
January 18, 2006
The Aviation Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Jimmie Beavers, Vice-Chairman James Hopmeier, and members Randel Compton, Bryon Woram, Clay McCutchan, and Marty Martin. Also present were the County Engineer (Roger Blaylock) and Administrative Services Manager (Tammy Simmons). Chairman Beavers called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.
Martin moved approval of the minutes from the September 21, 2005 meeting; Hopmeier seconded, and the vote carried unanimously. (6-0)
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. Issues
Dale Holbert, Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. requested the County Engineer email him the airport improvement projects for 2006 with the projected start dates. He said the information will be published through Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc.
Holbert said for general information, runway 17-35 at Pensacola Regional Airport is going to be completely reconstructed. He said the project will start the first of March and the runway will shut down for approximately 390 days. Holbert said the runway extensions will not occur during this reconstruction. He said they will occur as needed. He said he is still trying to get PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) lights installed on runway 17 as part of the reconstruction. Holbert said Flight Watch considers this an important safety item.
Holbert said he knows it is difficult to keep avionic equipment maintained and working at airports. He discussed the importance of the GCO (Ground Communication Outlet) equipment with regard to safety. Holbert discussed a recent aviation accident in North Carolina that may have been avoided if the airport had GCO equipment. Beavers asked if anyone has used the GCO at Milton. Holbert said the GCO worked fine when it was first operational. Beavers asked if the GCO is checked routinely to make sure it is operating properly. Davis Glass said he has not received any reports regarding the GCO not working. Beavers asked if anyone has the responsibility to verify if the GCO is functioning correctly. Holbert said not to his knowledge. Glass said the monitor in his office indicates the GCO is working.
Holbert said four out of the five items submitted to the Airport Facility Directory have been updated. He said the exception is the traffic pattern altitude. Holbert said this is according to information effective December 22, 2005.
Holbert said if you are going to take off and maintain VFR (the absence of a GCO clearance) there will be lengthy delays, and everyone should be aware of this.
Martin said he received information regarding the ILS being down at Pensacola Regional Airport. Holbert said the ILS will be down during the 390 days of construction. He discussed the approaches at Pensacola Regional Airport during this timeframe.
Beavers requested an update on the Aviation Discovery Park. Holbert said this project has been underway for five years. He said the park is designed to interest young people in aviation, let people in the area see their airport in operation, and utilized as a good educational tool. Holbert said the park will be located between the corporate hangars and Pensacola Aviation. He described many of the park features, and said groundbreaking should be soon. Holbert said the park will be built in three phases due to the increased costs associated with construction and a shortfall of funds. He named the governmental entities and businesses that have contributed to the park. Holbert said at least $75,000.00 is still needed to complete this project as designed. He reviewed the nationally known people who will be recognized at the aviation park. Holbert said they are a little disappointed in Santa Rosa County regarding the park because Santa Rosa County contributes 25% of the traffic seeing the airport in action. Beavers said he recuses from speaking about the discovery park because he is working with that group. McCutchan asked if anyone has approached the county regarding a contribution to the park. Holbert said the Board was approached last year and no formal answer was received.
Davis Glass, AMS (Aircraft Management Services), said he distributed two handouts to the committee members prior to the meeting. He said the first handout is a picture of the airport showing the number on the runway that is hard to see from the air. Glass said the runway and taxiway need to be re-striped. He said the second handout shows the required markings on the runway for a non precision approach. Glass said the ideal time to have the re-striping done will be right after the construction of the interconnecting taxiway.
Glass said a stoplight is needed at the intersection of Airport Road and Highway 90. He said there have been a number of bad accidents at this intersection. Glass discussed the heavy traffic during morning and evening rush hour and a visibility problem in the afternoon while the sun is setting. He said there was a petition going around from the residents on the north end of Airport Road. Blaylock said FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) did an intersection warrant study, and this intersection did not meet their warrant; therefore, no signal will be permitted at this location at this time. He said periodically the county requests an update of the warrant study on each of the intersections. Beavers asked if the rerouted Interstate 10 traffic makes a significant change. Blaylock said he will check on the date of the last study, but he felt it was done since Interstate 10 traffic was diverted. Glass discussed recent accidents at the intersection. Blaylock said accidents are included in the study.
Glass discussed a recent incident where a fuel truck was stuck in the ditch at the entrance of the airport blocking entry to the airport. He requested the south end of the entrance to the airport be widened to allow sufficient room for the fuel trucks to make the turn. Blaylock said he will forward the request to the Road and Bridge Department. Beavers asked how often this happens. Glass said this was the first incident blocking entry to the airport. Beavers said he felt there was a problem with the driver of the fuel truck. He said he felt one accident does not justify widening the roadway, but said he will not object if the county wishes to widen the roadway.
MCCutchan asked if the FBO plans to implement a light sport pilot course for the new light sport pilot license at Milton. Glass said the FBO has not received any inquiries, but the course can be offered if any interest is received.
Beavers expressed his personal condolences to Walker regarding his mother’s passing. He said the committee members also express their condolences.
Blaylock said the construction contractor has mobilized and will begin work on phase 1 of the realignment of taxiway A. He said the improvements are phased due to limited resources. Blaylock said the county is using the $150,000.00 per year allocation from FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to provide much of the monies to match the project. He reviewed the airport improvements in detail and the funding resources.
Simmons provided a copy of the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) lease agreement to the members and said the lease agreement can be discussed at the next meeting.
Beavers asked if the Hurricane Ivan hangar repairs are complete. Blaylock said the contractor has not been released from the contract yet, but the tenants can anticipate receiving a bill for hangar rent in February. He said officially the contractor is not done. Simmons said she will mail a letter to the tenants to let them know the county anticipates charging hangar rent in February and will ask the tenants to report any hurricane repairs not completed to the county. Beavers asked if all of the fire extinguishers have been replaced. Simmons said she ordered the cabinets and fire extinguishers to be replaced and the fire extinguishers recharged.
McCutchan asked if the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) trailer park adjacent to the airport has caused any problems. He asked how long will the trailer park be at this location. Blaylock said the lease is for 18 months, and he felt it will expire soon. He said the industrial development people are anxious to see the trailer park leave. Blaylock said it has created operational problems for the county regarding infrastructure. He said FEMA is asking for an extension, but TEAM Santa Rosa intends to ask the county to not extend the lease.
McCutchan asked the future of the Civil Air Patrol building. Simmons said it is of the county’s opinion that if someone from the Civil Air Patrol does not come forward, the county will be taking the building down. She said she has tried to contact the Civil Air Patrol regarding the building and has received no response.
McCutchan asked for an update on the wrecked aircraft at the airport. Beavers said it is his understanding one aircraft has been straightened up and some have been removed. Glass said the Seminole was removed, and one aircraft was turned right side up. He said a bill was sent to the owner of the flipped aircraft and there was no response. He said he will be putting a lien on this aircraft. Glass said he has not heard from the owner of the 172 regarding his plan to dispose of the aircraft. He said he will check into disposal of the 172 if the owner does not respond soon. McCutchan said the County Attorney should be contacted regarding disposal of the damaged aircraft.
There was discussion regarding a south county airport. Martin said there will probably not be a south county airport due to constrictions with Eglin Air Force Base. He said NOLF Holley Field will probably become school grounds and high tech commerce. Martin discussed the Navy’s current usage of NOLF Holley Field. Compton discussed the possibility of Holley Field being used as a general aviation reliever airport in the future. He said this could attract business type people. Martin said this will not happen with the amount of wetlands and the evolution of everything that is happening at Hulburt Field. He also discussed anticipated training at NOLF Choctaw Field. McCutchan noted the importance of everything being done at Peter Prince Airport due to it being the only general aviation airport in Santa Rosa County.
Martin said the Navy is flying out of south field and Santa Rosa Field on Sunday’s to catch up on helicopter training. He asked if anyone has received information regarding the NDB (Non Directional Beacon) approaches and FAA’s notice to do away with hundreds of NDB approaches. Holbert said the only remaining NDB approaches will be where there is no alternative and an instrument approach is needed.
Holbert asked if the airport will be incorporated into the Emergency Preparedness Plan. Blaylock said the CEMP (Community Emergency Management Plan) is being updated, and the airport is one of the items being addressed. Holbert said in another state, airports will not receive state funding if the airport does not have a security plan in place. Beavers requested an update of the CEMP from Simmons at the next meeting.
Election of Chair/Vice-Chair for 2006
Martin nominated McCutchan as Chairman; Beavers seconded, and McCutchan declined.
McCutchan nominated Compton as Chairman; Woram seconded, and the vote carried unanimously (6-0).
McCutchan nominated Hopmeier as Vice-Chairman; Compton seconded, and the vote carried unanimously (6-0).
There being no further business to come before the Aviation Advisory Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 6:05 p.m.