MINUTES OF THE BARSTOW AIRPORT ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETING

 

September 5, 2006

 

 

PRESENT:       Woodruff, Janson, Bergstein, Siemer, Pollack

 

OTHERS:        J.T. Raraigh, Jim Reike, Dot Hornsby, John Palen, Tony Lascari, several others in attendance.

 

REPORTED BY:  Bradd Maki                                   

  

Commissioner Pollack called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

 

The minutes of the regular June 6, 2006 meeting was received and reviewed.  It was moved by Janson and supported by Woodruff “to approve and file the minutes of the June 6, 2006.”   Approved (5/0).   

 

The Monthly Manager’s Report Summaries for June, July, and August of 2006 were presented and reviewed.  Comparisons were made with the same time period the previous year.  Pertinent information was provided in the Commission packets and at meeting time.  There were 78 good flying days and 14 poor flying days for June-August 2006.  Movements were down from a year ago during the same time period primarily due to high fuel costs and training declines since the airport currently has no flight school operations.  Fuel sales were also below the numbers from a year ago.  However, the fuel purchases per flight have increased significantly.  We are competitive with area fuel sales.  It was moved by Woodruff and supported by Janson “to accept the Monthly Manager’s Report Summary for June, July, and August 2006.”   Approved (5/0).

 

The Airport Maintenance Status Report was provided by J.T. Raraigh.  Raraigh indicated Runway 18-36 is open and final painting will include both runways.  Sections of fence were fixed.  Mowing is continuing.  Different tires will help tractor navigate the more wet areas.  The event in Oshkosh this year brought in planes on route from eastern states to temporary stops at Barstow Airport.  Offerings of coffee and cookies as well as implementing an idea from Linda Langrill to have bottled water promoting the airport are going over well.  Midland military pilot was noted in the paper.  Test pilot, Dave Stankle, stopped here with a Cessna Citation jet.  The ‘light jets’ planes are smaller, fast, and economical.  Raraigh added that this type of jet is ideal for Jack Barstow Airport.  Longer runways would be needed for more conventional jets.  Woodruff pointed-out that many jets are quieter than piston planes.  The ‘jet’ name poses a general concern with noise even though this may not be the case.  Woodruff added that there is a ‘balance field’ length for aircraft, so even though jet planes can take off on shorter lengths, for safety reasons the extended runway is still needed.  Janson agrees and emphasizes the safety aspects.  Raraigh added that larger or more standard jets would still like to land here. 

 


OLD BUSINESS

 

1.      Airport Promotion Committee Status Report:  Janson indicated they were looking at attracting young people to the airport, such as picnic tables and a playground.  Another idea is to promote newly reconstructed Runway 18-36 by having a weekend day to have a gathering to walk the runway and offer plane rides.  There are seven members to the committee.  Janson read an article supporting the use of local airports.  Bergstein suggested that the airport have an Air-day.  Having an aviation day has been discussed but is not currently on the schedule.  An air-day will not be like the large air shows if they are used here.  Siemer asked how coordination efforts are going with the EAA for events such as the pancake breakfast.  Janson indicated that Linda Langrill is organizing the inclusion of an old car display.  Event times and related details were discussed.  The Balloon Fest will also be held the same weekend.

2.      Status of Runway 18/36 Project:  Maki reported current status of the project.  Work comprised of reconstruction of runway and parallel taxiway, medium intensity (runway lighting) and reflectors on the taxiway.  Project went well.  Photos were provided to show final operations.  Woodruff added that the airport was shut down (both runways) for a shorter period than planned, which created minimal impacts to those flying.

3.      Airport Rules Status Report:  McManus indicated that meetings were held with Raraigh, Maki, with some input from Commissioners Pollack and Janson.  Focus was on commercial rules.  Some drafts were set-up for the City Attorney to look at.  A special meeting should be scheduled for the beginning of October.  Pollack added that this could ease-up funding needs for flight school operations without compromising safety.  The remainder of the commercial rules should not be changed much.  Some discussion ensued regarding setting a date and time.  Tentative schedule is October 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the EAA building, depending on whether the building can be made available.  

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

1.      MAP Meeting Review:  McManus provided report on the Michigan Aeronautics Program meeting held recently in Lansing.  The purpose of the meeting is to review airport 5-year plans.  Some items were pushed-up on the list from last year’s list.  The list was provided and discussed per year.  Janson indicated benefits of an AWOSS system.  McManus indicated City costs for the program would be about $10,000 to install and $4,000 to $6,000 to maintain annually.  McManus recommended that the advantages and disadvantages be considered closely before requesting the equipment to City Council.  How much State support regarding the proposed 5-year plan will be determined when all airport reviews are complete, which should be at year’s end.  Security fence improvements are considered a top priority as well.  Plans to move forward with the Runway 06-24 extension will continue if approval of related environmental assessments is successful.  Other items included updating the Airport Land Use Plan (ALP), installation of a fuel tank to help keep fuel prices down and be more competitive, plow/snow blower purchases, lighting improvements, and installation of a new T-hangar.

 

2.      Impacts of Cell Phone Towers:  McManus provided a breakdown of aerial zoning standards relating to the request for Verizon wireless to implement an aerial tower near the airport.  There are four standards that need to be met, which are the Tri-City Area Joint Airport Zoning Ordinance (MBS), the Tall Structures Act (MDOT), the FAA, and City Ordinance.  City Ordinance indicates a maximum height of 120 feet.  The City Zoning Board of Appeals approved a height increase to 150 feet.  The FAA determined that 150 feet is ok, but the MDA raises 40 feet.  MDOT reviewed FAA records and enforced the Tall Structures Act by denying the request due to MDA height increase.  Verizon appealed the denial on 8/17/06 and lost.  Verizon can meet standards if they build a tower no higher than 122 feet.  McManus added that the building permit was blocked due to questions raised by City Council. 

 

Discussion ensued related to future approach standards, such as precision approaches.  Janson indicated that GPS equipment may be used so that expensive ILS systems are not required.  McManus added that standards need to be refined to include slope requirements near the airport.  A Planning process can be used and will be reviewed.  A zoning text amendment is needed.   Public hearings with the City Planning Commission and City Council will be needed as well as an ordinance change.  The ZBA can override requirements.  An LPV approach is also being researched by the FAA, which can give near ILS precision in landing but the approach would be more expensive for pilots as they would need the equipment and not the airport like an ILS approach would need.  If approved, then the standards would be better than the City’s current standards.  Woodruff this is the GPS approach that Janson indicated earlier and moves to encourage the FAA to continue pursuing the survey of the airport for a Category 1 minimum approach which is the GPS approach.  Woodruff indicates that it is not real expensive for pilots.  Janson agrees, but indicates that there is a need for a slope requirement. 

 

The City has been looking to the FAA for setting requirements, but the need for local standards is needed.  The amount of consulting needs to be determined.  Woodruff indicates there is a standard for departures for the FAA to review.  Woodruff added that information could be brought to a meeting to make a formal proposal. McManus indicated that the 1970 ordinance served us well, but need to be reviewed again to accommodate higher towers.

 

3.      2007 Meeting Schedule:  The 2007 Meeting Schedule is similar to last year.  Janson moved and Woodruff seconded the motion to “accept the 2007 Meeting Schedule.   Approved (5/0).

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  

 

Dot Hornsby (visitor), wondered how many visitors are former Midland flyers or trainees.  Also, other airports have promoted their airports by allowing folks to walk the new runways.  She indicated this is good PR.  An invitation was extended for the pancake breakfast on September 17th.  Some classic cars/motorcycles and children activities (some campers and the Dow High Key Club) will be on hand.  As a separate item, the payphone at the terminal building needs a long cord so a place to write can be accessed.

 

Meeting was adjourned at 6:15 p.m.