Aviation Advisory Committee
September 21, 2005
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 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 5:03 p.m.
Beavers moved approval of the minutes from the August 17, 2005 meeting without objection.
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc. Issues
Dale Holbert, Pensacola Flight Watch, said Flight Watch was hit by Hurricane Katrina like everyone else. He said after the storm, the majority of area pilots wanted to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Holbert said Flight Watch has relief information on its website for interested pilots, and Flight Watch is coordinating an email list of available information for volunteer aircraft. Holbert also discussed the TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) posted by Flight Watch. He asked everyone to contact Flight Watch with any suggestions on improvements.
Holbert discussed a Flight Watch recommendation made to FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requesting the NDB (Non Directional Beacon) approach to runway 35 at Pensacola Regional Airport be retained. He said this request was adopted by FAA. Holbert thanked everyone involved and said according to AOPA (Aircrafts Owners and Pilots Association), Flight Watch had the best documentation.
He said Flight Watch has submitted a recommendation to FAA for PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) light installation on runway 17 at Pensacola Regional Airport. Holbert said this has been ongoing for over a year, and Flight Watch is continuing the effort. He presented the Board with a Power Point Presentation of various runways at Pensacola Regional Airport with regard to visual aids and the difference in VASI (Visual Approach Slope Indicator) and PAPI runway lights. Holbert said FAA considers PAPI installations easier to maintain and more precise. He said to have one runway without PAPI lights does not make good sense. Holbert explained FAA’s rational and provided an illustration of the “Governmental Ping Pong” associated with Flight Watch’s PAPI installation request. Holbert said he felt one problem is due to the proposal being submitted to FAA from an outside agency.
Compton asked Holbert if the air carriers serving Pensacola were approached to lend support. Holbert said Flight Watch has a letter from ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) strongly supporting Flight Watch’s recommendation. Compton said PAPI lights are on the list of concerns with ALPA and suggested enlisting the support of the airlines flying into Pensacola Regional Airport. Holbert said Flight Watch has received a letter from ALPA requesting visual guidance systems on every runway they fly into. He said this letter is included in the documentation.
Holbert said the opening of the extension to runway 8-26 at Pensacola Regional Airport is tentatively scheduled on October 10th. He discussed the Aviation Discovery Park designed to get young people interested in Aviation, to let people in the area see their airport in operation, and for future flight students. Holbert said the City of Pensacola, City of Gulf Breeze, Escambia County, and a substantial number of individuals and corporations have committed funds to this park. He said due to increased construction costs the bid will probably come in over the original estimate. Holbert said the Aviation Discovery Park is a good worthwhile project to support.
Beavers asked Holbert to discuss TIS (Traffic Information Service) at Pensacola Regional airport. Holbert said basically, FAA is going to do away with TIS in the Pensacola area. He said he will discuss TIS further when he has more information. Beavers said his understanding is FAA is going to do away with TIS throughout the United States. He said TIS is designed for general aviation use and described how TIS provides air traffic information in the cockpit. He said FAA is doing away with TIS before it is fully implemented. Holbert said manufacturers have made their equipment compatible with this system per FAA request, and now FAA is doing away with it. He said Flight Watch will be reviewing documentation regarding TIS for a possible recommendation to FAA.
Holbert said there is still inaccurate information in facility directories. He said some of the information is fairly important, and a member of the Flight Watch Safety Committee will provide a list of changes to Blaylock when it is complete.
Holbert discussed the increased airport theft trends per the ACPI (Aviation Crime Prevention Institute) and a local avionics dealer. He said a locked hangar is a good deterrent with avionic equipment; however, a locked hangar does not deter aircraft theft. Holbert said there is a lot of anti-theft information available on the AOPA website. He also discussed fuel theft.
Holbert said Andalusia is extending their runway 6,000 feet with a load bearing to support aircraft up to 155,000 pounds. He said this is a $3,700,000.00 plus project. Holbert said the improvements are related to EJM Airspace Services slated to begin operations at the airport April 1, 2006.
Davis Glass, AMS (Aircraft Management Services), reported there are several runway lights out at the airport. He said the outages were reported to Ingram three days ago, and he reported the outages to Ingram again today. Glass said the military training program is going well, and new classes start approximately every two weeks. He reviewed the FBO’s progress upgrading the aircraft fleet used during training. Glass said there is a new bright yellow tetrahedron at the airport.
Beavers asked about the future availability of fuel. Glass said he felt the present inventory is adequate. There was discussion regarding Jet A fuel and its tank life. Hopmeier said county staff may want to look at Jet A fuel in the Emergency Operations Plan. He said there was an issue with fuel availability and power after Hurricane Dennis. Hopmeier said fuel should be available for helicopters after hurricanes. There was discussion regarding the fuel capacity at Peter Prince Airport.
Walker said Bart Pullam has resigned from the Aviation Advisory Committee, and Commissioner Goodin plans to appoint Clay McCutchan as his replacement.
Beavers said T. Simmons is the county contract person, and any problems at the airport should be handled though Simmons. Walker agreed. Beavers asked if anything has taken place to include Peter Prince Airport in the county emergency preparedness plan. Walker said the county is currently updating the CEMP (Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan) and Sheryl Bracewell, the Emergency Management Director, will include Peter Prince Airport in the plan.
Walker said he will provide each committee member with a copy of the FBO lease for review. He said the lease can be discussed at the next meeting.
Blaylock said Ingram Electric is on notice concerning the lights. He said components are on order through Ingram Electric to fix the lights and for a new loop detector in the security gate. Blaylock said the county is going back to the old gate system. He reviewed the gate protocol during gate failures. Blaylock said the tenants and FBO will be notified by letter of what the security code on all locks will be as well as individual user identification. He said he anticipates having the security gate operational this Friday and implementing the program with the next billing cycle. Hopmeier asked the progress of a service contract on the security gate. Blaylock said there is not a service contract yet.
Blaylock said Hurricane Dennis hangar repairs are scheduled to start in a few weeks. He said Triple A Steel has been awarded a change order to conduct the repairs. Hopmeier asked if there is any information from the Building Inspection Department on the wind load capacity. Blaylock said yes. Hopmeier said now that the information is available he felt the tenants should be informed of the wind load the hangars were designed to withstand per the building code at that time. He said this will help to prevent any misunderstanding in the future.
There was discussion concerning FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funding and the hangars being repaired to their previous condition. Blaylock said through mitigation, each hangar door will be anchored to the slab whether FEMA pays for the upgrade or not. Beavers said it is his understanding any repairs will have to meet current building codes. Blaylock said FEMA requires current building codes only when there is over 50% damage. There was further discussion concerning the hangar doors and mitigation.
Blaylock said the notice to proceed on airport improvements will be on or after December 1, 2005. He said the major improvements will go in this winter. Blaylock said after that contract is underway the county will go out for bid on the 24 new hangars. He said the county plans to coordinate the major improvements with hangar construction.
Holbert said Blaylock and county staff need to be recognized for the magnitude of Joint Participation Agreements obtained over the past 10 years.
Hopmeier asked the status of derelict aircraft. Blaylock said he will check into the matter.
Martin said the end of the fiscal year is coming up. He said Whiting Field will be flying on the 30th, and all outlying fields will be closed that day.
The next scheduled meeting of the Aviation Advisory Committee is Wednesday, October 19, 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.