Aviation Advisory Committee
March 18, 2009
The Aviation Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Chairman Carlos Diaz and members Wayne Nelms, Clay McCutchan, Randy Compton, Mike Harris, Theodore Elbert, and Randy Roy (NAS Whiting Fieldrepresentative). County staff present was the County Administrator (Hunter Walker),County Engineer (Roger Blaylock), and Administrative Services Manager (TammySimmons).
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m.
Review/Approval of Minutes
Nelms moved approval of the minutes from the February 18, 2009 meeting; Harrisseconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
Air Methods, Inc. Lease update
Walked stated the Board of County Commissioners approved the Aviation AdvisoryCommittee recommendation to lease the hangars to Air Methods, Inc. according to theproposal Air Methods submitted with the provisions suggested by the Aviation AdvisoryCommittee. The lease has been submitted to Air Methods, we are waiting for them to get it approved through their organization.
Diaz stated Mr. Mason is present today to clarify his case for renting the remaining corporate hangar.
Ron Mason explained to the committee the circumstances on how he missed out on getting an A hangar; which is the only hangar with the exception of the H hangars that his plane will fit into. Mr. Mason had previously submitted through e-mail exhibits of these happenings. The exhibits and a timeline submitted by Simmons are attached to these minutes.
Mr. Elbert moved the motion to recommend to the county that they negotiate with Mr. Mason to accommodate one of the three proposals that he has submitted, Mr.Nelms seconded the motion, motion carried unanimously.
Pensacola Flight Watch, Inc.
Dale Holbert stated that Flight Watch is not aware of any safety issues at Peter Prince Airport.
Holbert stated the current issue of the Flight Watch newsletter alerts readers to the availability of hangars at Peter Prince Airport. We have over 150 readers to this newsletter.
Holbert reported the progress of the runway 17 PAPI installation at Pensacola Regional. Construction should be underway by early July and completed in approximately 90 days.
Holbert reported on the Discovery Park, he stated there are a couple projects remaining. The park is open, and has been open quite a while. The users are very excited about it. The project we have left is the Wall of Honor and the viewing platform.
Dave Glass reported on the runway and PAPI lights; the runway lights appear to be operational; all the PAPI lights are working. The REIL lights on the south end are inoperative; on the north end looking down the runway the right hand REIL light is inoperative; the left hand is working. There is one threshold light burned out on the south end. The taxiway lights are all working. All outages have been reported to Ingram Electric.
Glass stated that there have not been any recent deer sightings.
Glass stated that there is a derelict aircraft that he has been trying to get rid of for years. The aircraft belongs to Donice Brown; who has a hangar with the County. Glass wrote him a letter two months ago telling him during Hurricane Ivan the tie down rings on the bottom of the wing was ripped off and there is no proper way of securing that aircraft with a rope; right now we have ropes tied around the landing gear but we are approaching the hurricane season and if that thing gets loose it could possibly run into another airplane. We need the help of the county attorney to get him to dispose of this aircraft, it’s a Beechcraft, the tail number is N6951Q and it is not airworthy. It has been setting on the east ramp for at least four years, if not longer.
Elbert requested that staff forward the Aviation Advisory members a copy of the lease with the FBO.
Walker stated Simmons would e-mail to all the members.
Hangar inspection update
Simmons handed out the December 2008 inspection summary which is also attached to these minutes.
Diaz commented on the number of unsatisfactory fire protection.
Simmons responded that the number 20 on the report does not indicate 20 hangars failed; but that, there are three separate violations under this category: 1) is there a fire extinguishers present? 2) Is the fire extinguisher tagged and serviced? and 3) is the fire extinguisher mounted? Therefore; the number 20 indicates a variety of these three failures with a possibility of up to three violations per hangar.
Blaylock stated that we have a 94% rental rate on the hangars at this time. We have 5 of the new T’s that are vacant and one corporate hangar vacant.
Blaylock stated as far as new projects this Board recommended to the Commissioners to pave the parking lot and we have started the survey work associated with the design and permitting of paving the parking lot at the FBO office.
Blaylock stated the only outstanding project that we have with DOT is a joint participation agreement (JPA) for additional T-hangars, the engineering staff is looking at the feasibility of building cabin twins instead of the T-hangars. We have two taxiways that will support a north and a south entrance so we can do another A hangar type building. We will have to look at the side slopes of 1-7 to make sure we do not encroach. If it is feasible this is going to be my recommendation to the Board because this is where we have the longest waiting list. This could possibly fix Mr. Mason’s problem here in the next 4-6 months. The other alternative is putting a rectangular shape hangar on the southern taxiway because it does not lend itself to an entry on both sides. We are looking at how many hangars we can fit there and we will build them to cabin twin standards.
McCutchan question if we have a waiting list, then why do we have empty hangars.
Blaylock responded that they are not ready yet; however, they have requested to stay on the list.
Simmons responded that if we get a call from someone wanting a hangar we go ahead and lease a hangar to them. We are not making calls to the people on the list; they will have to contact us when they are ready.
Diaz stated that he had heard that someone was going to hold in this room about the Stimulus package and that businesses are being encouraged to come and ask for money. Is the airport in that group of acceptable request?
Blaylock stated we have a project that we have applied for and that is our hold bays; we have submitted those and those will be administered through the state.
Glass stated this meeting will be held at the County Auditorium on May 24, 2009.
Diaz stated it is Stimulus Package money that is going to be disbursed by the Federal Government to Santa Rosa County and they said if you have a small business, show up here and ask for money.
Roy questioned if any of the members are receiving notices of any activity that is going to penetrate the public airport zones?
Blaylock stated that the Engineering Department and the Planning/Zoning Department have the overlays for the airport zone and they look at them very closely.
Nelms stated that there is now an alliance along the Gulf Coast where they are taking a look at airspace; it is suppose to be a cooperative activity between Military users, general aviation users, and commercial aviation users. It would seem to me, that this Committee might be interested in some of those issues as they arise. I do not know if there is any other venue for the folks that operate in and out of Peter Prince and some of our general aviation folks operating in the airspace over the county.
Diaz stated the FBO does not receive any of these notices. He feels this is the only venue to discuss issues that impact general aviation.
Nelms stated general aviation should be concerned about some of these issues because of all the interest that is coming up, the cell towers popping up, everybody wants Wi-Fi working everywhere, you are not going to have that unless you poke something about 300’-500’ up in the air. I think this is going to become more and more of an issue and I don’t know that there is any other panel that listens to these types of things.
Walker stated the county adopted an ordinance that capped the height of towers to 150’, all have to be permitted, if there is a height variance they have to go before our board and that is staffed by military, planning and zoning, and engineering. We have not had a lot of towers come up in the last number of years.
Blaylock stated that he would recommend to our Planning/Zoning Director that any variance get put through this board as well as the Local Planning Board.
The next meeting will be April 15, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.