April 19, 2005



PRESENT:       Taylor, Bergstein, Pollack, Janson


EXCUSED:      None


OTHERS:        Approximately 30-40 in attendance


REPORTED BY:  Bradd Maki                                   


Commissioner Pollack called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and provided an introduction and basis for the special meeting.  Pollack introduced Jim Branson, City Attorney.


Branson addressed an overview of the rules and regulations to the public and the Commission and clarified possible misconceptions based on correspondence received.  Rules have been in place since 1997 and need revision.  Rules need to be logical, enforceable and used by everyone, not just directed to pilots.  Suggested changes were drafts only and meant to be discussed. Jim suggested the main issues were regarding alcohol, camping, and parking, and then recommended forming a subcommittee comprised of City Staff, EAA, AOPA, and pilots.  


Taylor agreed with forming a subcommittee as a good idea and reinforced the need for enforceable rules.  Commissioner Janson disagreed with the subcommittee format and suggested that the commission be the committee and the rules be ironed out with the commission and all present.  Taylor indicated that using comments received and the correct representation would not waste everyone’s time.  Branson provided an example regarding special considerations of alcohol use, but stressed the rules need to be defined.  Taylor indicated there is poor perception to newspaper when pilots indicate a main concern is not being able to drink at the airport.  Bergstein is in support of subcommittee and indicated that good ideas have been provided from letters received and that the new rules would have to be followed for years.  Pollock showed concern that consensus would not be reached with a large group, so it may be better to have representation to have issues resolved.  Pollack added that common sense and consistency is the key to developing good rules.  Pollack also stressed that the commission is not on a rigid timeframe to get these rules to City Council.  Janson reiterated his disagreement and thinks the group should go through the issues one by one.


Pete Swan (audience) indicated there were 4 issues to discuss, including the Hangar Lease, Parachute rules, Ultra Light rules, and general rules, and believes they cannot all be completed at once.


Other comments from those in attendance:
-         Rules could be separated out and simplified, and commission is responsible for taking the lead.
-         Rules need to define culture and personality.  What to do to airport as a whole?  Rules may be in conflict with objectives. This may be premature.
-         Is there a problem with camping?  Branson responded by indicating the rules should not be piece-mealed and this is the time to make it right.
-         Bob Barringer indicated there is no need for Ultra Light rules.  FAR Part 103 could apply and 1000’s of others do not have specific rules for ultra lights.  Another attendee added that special rules at airports could increase hazards as pilots may not know rules.  Tom Lind added that Ultra Light rules should be eliminated as we are now starting to tell people how to fly planes.  Taylor recommended abolishing the Ultra Light rules.  Janson seconded. Approved (4/0)
-         Bergstein indicated in the Parachute rules a “25000” number should be “2500”.  Janson indicated rules are good to have.  FAR does address allowability.  Craig Kelly requested that an experienced skydiver should review these rules.  Lind recommended these rules be sent to the Flight Standards District Headquarters in Grand Rapids for review.  Jim Branson indicated specific rules must be addressed and must meet USPA guidelines.  A recommendation for Brad Wenchel (skydiver) review the document was made in the audience.  A motion was made by Janson that the parachute rules be reviewed by Brad Wenchel and sent to the Flight Standards District Headquarters in Grand Rapids for review, followed by a new draft of the Parachute rules developed for commission review.  Taylor seconded, Approved (4/0).
Discussion ensued about land leases/hangar leases.  Suggestion was raised in audience whether private and public hangars should be separated (minor discussion).  Taylor indicated hangar uses shall be used for airport purposes.  Branson indicated that part of the problem with hangar use is enforcement.  Swan suggested commercial rates be charged for users not having airport use.  Several on commission and audience disagreed.  Lind added that use as an empty hangar or car storage needs to be addressed.  Craig Kelly asked whether non-aviation businesses could be implemented at the airport.  McManus indicated that it would have to be an airport use.  Other uses may require the land to be returned to the original owner.  Another in the audience asked whether a restaurant would be placed on airport.  McManus indicated the commission could review if requested.  No determinations provided in this regard.  Hollis McKeag indicated that rules were made because a past incident where a hangar door was left open and it was full of storage.  Taylor provided more information to clarify the past incident.
Motion was made by Janson to move to a 2nd meeting to resolve the remaining issues.  This motion was seconded by Taylor, (all Aye, 4/0).  New meeting date was not determined.


Meeting was adjourned at 9:03p.m.