November 4, 2008



PRESENT:      Janson, Siemer, Pollack, Woodruff, Bergstein


EXCUSED:    None 


OTHERS:       J.T. Rairigh, John Palen, Jim Reike, Dot Hornsby, Rob Bourne


REPORTED BY:  Bradd Maki                                             


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


The minutes of the regular June 3, 2008 meeting and special meeting on August 12, 2008 were received and reviewed.  It was moved by Siemer and supported by Janson “to approve and file the minutes of the June 3 and August 12, 2008 meetings.”   Approved (5/0, vote taken during Public Comment at the end of the meeting).   


The Monthly Manager’s Report Summary for July through September 2008 was presented and reviewed by J.T. Rairigh.  Comparisons were made with the same time period the previous year.  There were 77 good flying days and 15 poor flying days for this period.  Aircraft movements were down primarily to a decrease in training flights.  However, pleasure trips have increased.  Fuel sales have increased even though prices are about 25% higher than last year at this time.  Janson asked what the cost for fuel is currently.  Rairigh indicated 100LL and Jet A is currently $4.99 per gallon.  Rairigh provided some comparative information to area airports.  It was moved by Janson and supported by Siemer “to accept the Monthly Manager’s Report Summary.”   Approved (4/0, Bergstein not present at time of vote). 


The Airport Maintenance Status Report was provided by J.T. Rairigh.  Crack sealing has been completed by Rairigh with the assistance of City for emulsion material and truck.  City staff currently troubleshooting runway light operation and have determined that an older transformer was malfunctioning.  There is no safety issue to pilots and necessary NOTAMS are in place until repairs are complete. 




1.      Promotion Committee Report – Janson indicated the Operation Good Cheer will occur on December 6th.  Dot Hornsby has been getting good publicity for the airport with her activities.  Pollack added that the Ford Tri-Motor event exceeded expectations.





1.      Fact-Finding Committee Report – Siemer reported on findings regarding aircraft maintenance.  The closest aircraft mechanic is located at the airport in Mt. Pleasant.  Key findings presented by Siemer were that:

    • Vibrant Michigan airfields have on-field maintenance.
    • On-field maintenance support is waning. 
    • “Through the Fence” mechanics erode support for organized maintenance.
    • Most airports provide support for the fixed based operator (FBO), such as a salary, share of fuel flowage fee, and building rental subsidy.

Siemer indicated a final recommendation has not been determined, however options discussed were to include aircraft maintenance with airport operations contract (FBO), or utilize separate contracts.


Some fundamentals for success for an FBO described by Siemer were that:

·         A solution should be long term with a focus on not including costs,

·         A building is needed,

·         Whether expanding the existing storage building could include a maintenance wing, and

·         A discussion with local pilots is needed for their input.  The meeting is scheduled to occur in November.

Some discussion ensued.  Other airports studied did not involve pilots paying up-front costs for this service.  A broad number of airports studied allowed various incentives for hangar or building use. 

2.      MAP Meeting Highlights – Maki indicated that City staff along and some commissioners attended the annual MAP meeting on September 4th.  Discussion was related to the 5-year plan provided to them earlier this summer.  The plan was not changed as approved by the commission at the June meeting.  MDOT agreed to review criteria for purchasing used equipment and buildings with federal funds.  MDOT findings following the MAP meeting were that:

    • Used buildings can be purchased if they serve an aeronautical purpose and are a revenue generating source.
    • Federal funds don not cover building upgrades.
    • Used underground facilities are not eligible for Federal funds.

Janson added that we receive $150,000 of eligible Federal funds with a local cost share. The amount can vary, but has not in recent years.

3.      Project Updates - Maki indicated the AWOS system installation began October 16th and is scheduled for completion in mid-November. The fuel tank project is proceeding as an above ground facility.  City cost share is estimated to be between $5,000 and $6,000.  Staff currently plans to wait until the next Federal grant fund entitlements are in place before bidding the project to assure adequate funding is in place.  A 1-year old above ground fuel facility was for sale in the southwest part of the state.  City staff is reviewing this with MDOT to see if the FAA will classify this as a new facility and whether it will be Federal grant eligible. Woodruff questioned regarding the status of the 24-hour card reader.  The City plans to install a new card reader by June, 2009 as the vendor will no longer service the existing card reader by that date. 


Bergstein provided some general comments indicating that the City is having difficulty with budgeting and wondered whether having “through the fence” maintenance operations at the airport could be in place on a temporary basis until such a time that an FBO can be put in place.  He suggested this should be studied.  Siemer indicated the Fact-Finding Committee will take his comments under advisement.   



Rob Bourne clarified that the fuel farm Siemer indicated was Steve Bile’s is owned by Bourne.  Dot Hornsby indicated the MCTV programs for the airport are still going with viewing Monday at 9:00 p.m. on channel 15 and Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. on channel 3 with a series on the aviation camp.  They are working on a future programs related to the Tri-Motor and an aerial tour of the City.  The camp was described in detail.  Also, the Young Eagles are continuing as well.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 2, 2008.


Meeting was adjourned at 5:58 p.m.