Aviation Advisory Committee
September 19, 2007
The Aviation Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Carlos Diaz, Vice-Chairman Randel Compton and members Mike Harris and Clay McCutchan. Also present were the County Administrator (Hunter Walker), Assistant County Engineer (Michael Schmidt), and Administrative Services Manager (Tammy Simmons). Chairman Diaz called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. Marty Martin arrived late.
McCutchan moved approval of the minutes from the May 16, 2007 and June 20, 2007 meetings; Compton seconded, and the vote carried unanimously. (4-0)
Diaz discussed damaged locks on hangars at Peter Prince Airport. He said County Attorney, Tom Dannheisser, felt breaking into hangars at Peter Prince Airport is a local issue. Diaz said he spoke with several other attorneys, and they all felt breaking into hangars at a general aviation airport is a local law enforcement issue. He said he asked the FAA legal department if breaking into hangars and damaging planes is a Federal crime. Diaz said he was told determining whether or not damaging a plane in a hangar at a general aviation airport is a Federal crime is done on a case by case basis. He said he questioned why breaking into a hangar at a regional airport is a Federal crime but may not be a Federal crime at a general aviation airport. Diaz said Peter Prince Airport is heavily used by the Military. He said the FAA legal department could not give him a reason for the different crime levels (Federal versus local).
McCutchan asked ifthe sign he purchased to place at the airport stating that breaking into hangars and damaging planes is a Federal crime is useless. Diaz said not necessarily because the FAA legal department said it may be a Federal crime. He said he does not think there is a problem posting the sign. There was discussion on what may qualify as a
Federal crime pertaining to aircraft at a general aviation airport. Diaz said he felt the sign is a good deterrent.
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. Issues
Dale Holbert said runway 1735 at Pensacola Regional Airport is set to reopen in late October. He said there have been constant delays in getting the runway reopened. Holbert said the PAPI lights (Precision Approach Path Indicator) on the runway should be installed by late October also.
Holbert said the Discovery Park has been open for a while. He discussed everything that is currently installed at the park. Holbert said there are picnic tables with umbrellas that need to be installed. He described the Plaza of Honor and said because of budget issues the plan is to only start building the Chappie James column at this time. Holbert said there should be a large shaded platform area installed at the park by the end of October. He said radios that were promised have not been installed.
Holbert said frequencies are working at Peter Prince Airport. He said the pavement markings at the airport are being redone. Holbert said it does not look like there is anything being done on the new hangars at the airport. Schmidt said the Peter Prince Airport hangars are in the design phase. He discussed extra features that are being added to the pr-manufactured hangars. Holbert said he is being asked when construction is set to begin. Schmidt said the Notice to Proceed was issued. He said the hangars are on schedule to be completed within the 280 days set for the project.
Holbert said he has received complaints from current hangar leaseholders at Peter Prince Airport. He said the hangar leaseholders said contractors at the airport barged into the
hangars checking things. Holbert said the contractors were extremely rude when the hangar leaseholders questioned what the contractors were doing. There was discussion on what company the contractors were with.
Holbert said he is not aware of any current safety issues at Peter Prince Airport. Diaz said military training has increased at Peter Prince Airport. He said there are currently 32 students at the airport making for very heavy military student air traffic. Diaz said there have been no problems, but he felt everyone should be aware of the large number of students. Holbert asked everyone to email him important information concerning air traffic that needs to be sent out, and he will send it to a large number of flying entities.
Diaz asked if there are any plans to resurvey the runway at Peter Prince Airport to make sure it is still runway 1836. He said the North Pole moves and sometimes numbers have to be changed. Schmidt said he is not aware of any changes. Diaz said the number needs to be checked.
FBO (Fixed Base Operator) Issues
Diaz said military training has stepped up significantly because of the Navy and Marines currently needing pilots. He said the Navy and the Marine seem to be pleased with the way things are done at Peter Prince Airport. Diaz said having 32 military students at the airport does not interfere with any operations at the airport, but he wants to make sure everyone knows there are a lot of inexperienced students flying at Peter Prince Airport.
Diaz asked if the board is ready to discuss the hangar lease policies. Simmons handed out two lease policies. (Attachment in file) Diaz said he has a problem with hangar doors
remaining open when a tenant is in the hangar. He said he does not want people on the street to be able to look in and see everything that he has in his hangar, and he likes to keep his hangar closed during bad weather. Diaz said he does not have any other issues with the proposed lease. He asked what tools are being addressed in item 19 on the lease. Simmons discussed tools being stored in hangars at Peter Prince Airport that have no purpose being there. Diaz said he agrees tools that are not allowed to be used at the airport should not be stored in hangars at the airport.
Harris said a timeframe needs to be set for homebuilt aircraft being stored in hangars to become airworthy. He said he felt homebuilt aircraft owners should have to complete 25% of the aircraft annually or their lease should be terminated. Harris said this gives the owner 4 years to build the homebuilt aircraft. Diaz asked if 4 years is a reasonable amount of time to build a homebuilt aircraft. There was discussion on the amount of time that should be allowed to build a homebuilt aircraft and at what point of completion a homebuilt aircraft should be allowed to be storedin a hangar at Peter Prince Airport.Diaz said an aircraft can have an airworthiness certificate and not be airworthy. He said the airworthiness certificate only certifies that the airplane design is legal to put together and fly.
Simmons said the blue wording on the lease is not currently in the lease. She said the wording was added as possible policy to be discussed and considered by the Aviation Advisory Board.
Diaz suggested adding policy stating an aircraft must be legally flyable in order to rent a hangar at Peter Prince Airport, and if an aircraft is not flyable it has a timeframe to become legally flyable. McCutchan said there are plenty of flyable aircraft owners needing hangars. He said he felt the hangars should be for flyable aircraft because flyable aircraft generate revenue for the airport. McCutchan said non-flyable aircraft do not generate revenue for the airport. He questioned how homebuilt aircraft can be built at the airport when tools that are prohibited at the airport are needed to build the aircraft. Harris said the only thing needing to be done to homebuilt aircraft that is not permitted at the airport is painting. He said homebuilt aircraft can be flown somewhere else to be painted. Compton asked if homebuilt aircraft owners should be excluded from renting hangars at Peter Prince Airport while the aircraft is being built. McCutchan said no. He said he felt the homebuilt aircraft should be built somewhere else until the last 10% remains, and then the homebuilt aircraft can be finished in a hangar. McCutchan said he has a problem with someone renting a hangar for years and never flying. There was discussion on subleasing hangars.
Diaz said he agrees there needs to be a time limit on homebuilt aircraft to become airworthy. He said all non-flying aircraft stored in hangars needs to be addressed. Walker said inspections are what brought problems in Peter Prince Airport hangars to the attention of staff. Diaz asked if there are any unannounced hangar inspections. Simmons said no. Diaz said unannounced inspections can help reveal violations. Walker said the County is not trying to kick tenants out ofhangars, but the County is trying to get tenants to clean up the hangars. Simmons said announcing inspections every six months gets the hangars cleaned up every six months.
McCutchan asked if any research is being conducted to see if other airports are having the same issues as Peter Prince Airport. Simmons said the language in the lease came from other lease policies at other airports. She said other airports seem to be having the same problems as Peter Prince Airport.
Harris said specific limitations set for non-flyable aircraft can include homebuilt aircraft and other non-flyable aircraft. Diaz asked if a flat time limit is good or if a percentage completion type of report should be required. McCutchan said percentages are hard to determine. Diaz asked for suggested time limits for all non-flyable aircraft. McCutchan said restoring a factory built airplane takes about 6 months to 1 year if the aircraft is worked on daily. He said building an aircraft from scratch usually takes about 4 years. Diaz said some people can only work on their aircraft part time because of their job. There was discussion on people working on aircraft at other facilities and then being allowed to lease a hangar at the airport when almost completely flight ready. Simmons reminded the board that people may have to wait on the hangar waiting list for 5 years. Compton said the applicant can request placement on the hangar waiting list while working on sections of the aircraft somewhere else. McCutchan said it may be easier to be “general” with regards to flyable status. He said the tenant should be given 6 months to 1 year to get an aircraft flyable. Compton said the purpose of the hangars is to house flyable aircraft that utilize airport facilities and services. Diaz said an aircraft owner may have extenuating circumstances. McCutchan said something can be submitted to the Aviation Advisory Board for consideration if there are extenuating circumstances.
Harris said he wants to add that an aircraft must be stored 9 months out of the year to lease a hangar. He said this ensures the aircraft is stored and flying out of Peter Prince Airport. Diaz agreed with the 9 month requirement unless there are extenuating circumstances. There was discussion on tenants not storing their aircraft in the hangar they are leasing but ubleasing the hangar out to other aircraft owners. Diaz asked Simmons to add an item to the lease stating aircraft stored at the airport must be either flyable or made flyable within 1 year unless an extension is given by the Aviation Advisory Board for extenuating circumstances. Simmons said she would add the item to the lease policy.
Diaz said some aircraft owners store their aircraft somewhere other than in the hangar leased at Peter Prince Airport. He said those owners fly these aircraft in when they are informed of inspections and leave after the inspections. McCutchan asked what happens if an aircraft that does not belong to the tenant on the lease is in the hangar. Simmons said the tenant on the lease is notified and charged a $60.00 fee for the extra aircraft. McCutchan said if the tenant’s aircraft is not being stored in the hangar, the County is leasing to the wrong person. Martin said he does not understand why the County gives notification of inspections. Diaz said he felt there should be some inspections with notification and some without notification. Walker said the issue of unannounced inspections needs to be addressed by the County Attorney before being added to the lease policy. Simmons said some tenants put their own locks on hangars when they know an inspection is scheduled. She said she then has to notify the tenants to remove the locks so she can inspect the hangars. McCutchan said he felt the County should be able to cut locks off at any time for inspection purposes. He said the County can put a new lock on the hangar and the tenant should have to get the combination or key for the new lock from staff. McCutchan read the section in the lease stating that only locks provided by the lessor (the County) may be used on hangars. Simmons said this section is not in the current lease. She said the lock policy is part of the proposed lease policy. McCutchan said the lock policyshould be in the lease for safetyreasons.
McCutchan said the rules need to be kept as simple as possible. He said there is a responsibility to the public to stay with the original intent of the hangars at Peter Prince Airport. McCutchan said the rules at the airport have to be enforced. He said he is concerned with heavy maintenance and painting that is taking place in the hangars. McCutchan said these prohibited activities need to be stopped to reduce safety risks.
Walker said staff can redraft the proposed hangar lease policy provided to the committee. Simmons asked the Aviation Advisory Board members to read over the proposed lease policy very well before the next meeting. She asked all committee members to let her know if additional language needs to be added.
Harris said there has never been anyone kicked out ofa hangar. He said the policy needs to be written to allow enforcement of the rules. Harris said tenants are given too many warnings before being kicked out. Simmons said there are a lot of tenants currently being kicked out of their hangars due to violations. She said the hangars being vacated should be empty by November 30, 2007. Simmons said Attorney Dannheisser is working on getting the violators removed from the hangars. Diaz asked if evections are always done through the County legal department. Simmons said yes. She discussed the evection process for hangars at Peter Prince Airport.
McCutchan said he felt determining whether an aircraft is flyable or not will be difficult for Simmons. He said an aviator is needed to determine if an aircraft is flyable. Diaz said he felt that airworthiness can be determined using documentation. There was iscussion on the types of documentation used to determine airworthiness. Walker asked Aviation Advisory Board members to email staff any specific language they felt should be included in the hangar lease policy.
Holbert said he agrees with what is being proposed but suggested implementing lease policy changes step by step. He said the language can be developed at one time, but
enforcement should be implemented a little at a time. Holbert agreed that only flyable aircraft should be stored in airport hangars or if non-flyable, made flyable as soon as possible.
Walker said safety issues at the airport are priority. McCutchan said he believes in inspections without notification to expose safety issues. He said inspections without notification need to be implemented at Peter Prince Airport. Compton said inspections without notification would help find safety issue trends.
McCutchan said a vision statement or philosophical statement is needed at Peter Prince Airport to inform everyone at the airport the purpose of the leased hangars. He said the purpose of the leased hangars at Peter Prince Airport is to support flyable aircraft that are going to generate revenue for the airport. McCutchan said everyone needs to be informed that the hangar lease policies are inline with the airport vision statement.
Holbert asked the status of changing policy concerning commercial hangar rentals. Simmons said the RFP for commercial hangars is currently being worked on by staff.
Compton updated the Aviation Advisory Board on user fees. He said he is disappointed with the issue becoming political. Diaz said AOPA (Aircrafts Owners and Pilots Association) seems to be fighting user fees vigorously at the Congressional level instead of at the grass roots level.
Simmons handed out a database information sheet to the Aviation Advisory Board. (Attachment in file) She said she sent out a hangar survey to other airports to allow her to compare current rates at Peter Prince Airport with similar airports. Simmons said she is waiting on more responses to the survey before she compiles the information. There was discussion on what aspects associated with airports should be used for comparison purposes. Simmons said she can email a copy of the survey to board members. Holbert discussed what he felt should be used for comparison purposes.
The next scheduled meeting of the Aviation Advisory Committee is on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.
There being no further business to come before the Aviation Advisory Committee at this time, the meeting adjourned at 6:08 p.m.