October 19, 2006




The meeting was held in the Airport Commission Board Room, 8600 Garfield Road, Freeland, Michigan 48623.  Chairman Eugene Gwizdala called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.  Roll was called by Debbie Meisel.




Present                            Absent & Excused        Staff                       Other     

Patrick H. Beson                                                 Jeff Nagel               Cheryl Wade, Midland Daily News

George J. Biltz                                                     A. T. Lippert          Dolores Dandt, Citizen

Kenneth W. Distler                                              Ryan Riesinger  Rich Bostwick, NWA (left at

Darnell Earley                                                      Debbie Meisel                closed session)

Brian K. Elder                                                                                   Justin Engel, Saginaw News

Eugene F. Gwizdala                                                                                   (arrived after closed session)

Wilmer Jones-Ham

Jon Lynch                                                           

Hollis H. McKeag                                                                            




MINUTES:  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the minutes of the Regular Commission Meeting held on September 21, 2006.  Mr. Beson seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved by the Board.


SEPTEMBER 2006 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY:  Mr. Elder made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the September Payroll Account Check Numbers 82631-82683; the September Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 36919-37004; and the September Cash and Investment Summary.  Ms. Jones-Ham seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.




ARFF TRAINING GRANT – 2007:  Mr. Nagel asked Mr. Riesinger to discuss Exhibit I.  Mr. Riesinger stated that F.A.A. Regulation 139 requires each Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighter to receive live fire training once a year.  In order to meet these regulations, the State Aeronautics Commission and the Kellogg Community College developed a mobile training unit.  This unit has been used at MBS for the past several years and it has proved to be an excellent form of training.


Staff has applied for a State grant to assist in the funding for the training that is held in May.  Although the 2007 grant amount has not been determined, the 2006 grant was for 90% of the training cost, up to a $5,500 maximum.  Mr. Riesinger also stated that in 2007 MBS will conduct a full scale emergency exercise which is required every three years.  The mobile trainer would be used for part of the exercise. 


Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the following Resolution with Ms. Jones-Ham seconding.






BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the MBS Airport Board of Commissioners, of Freeland, Michigan:


Section I.  That the MBS Airport Board of Commissioners, Freeland, Michigan shall enter into a Sponsor Contract for ARFF Training at MBS International Airport, and that such Sponsor Contract shall be set forth hereinbelow:


Section II.  That the Airport Manager of the MBS International Airport Commission is hereby authorized and directed to execute said Sponsor Contract on behalf of the Commission, and authorized and directed to impress the official seal and to attest said execution.


Section III.  That the Grant Agreement referred to as the 2007 ARFF Training Contract shall

be as attached.


After discussion of the various duties and staffing of the firemen, the motion unanimously carried.


SURPLUS EQUIPMENT:  Mr. Nagel stated that with the recent purchases of the new snow removal equipment and front-end loader, some of the older equipment needs to be disposed of.  The first step is to have the commission declare the equipment as “surplus”.


The two pieces of equipment to be disposed of include:


-         1983 Mack truck including sander, underbody scraper and 12-foot plow.

(Estimated value $20,000)


-         1977 Massey 3 ¼ cubic yard front-end loader

(Estimated value $5,000)


Mr. Nagel stated that these values are only estimates based on preliminary research done by the airport maintenance supervisor.  The actual value may differ substantially based on numerous factors.

This equipment was originally purchased using FAA grant dollars.  Therefore, to ensure compliance with the FAA grant assurances, only sealed bids for the equipment will be accepted.  Because of the estimated value, MBS would not be permitted to simply “donate” this equipment to another airport or municipality.  After notifying the FAA of the items sold they will write a letter stating how much of the revenue received would need to be applied to the local share of next grant project.  Mr. Biltz made a motion to declare the two pieces of equipment surplus and authorization for the manager to obtain the best value for the equipment.  Mr. Lynch seconded the motion.  After discussion the motion unanimously carried.


MARKETING COMMITTEE:  Mr. Nagel reported that two proposals from air-service consultants were received to conduct the fare study as directed by the commission.  The proposals were from The Boyd Group, which has done extensive work for MBS in the past, and Eclat Consulting, which is the firm currently doing work for the State Bureau of Aeronautics.


The goal of the study is to evaluate fares from MBS and Flint and determine if Northwest would reduce their fares from MBS, they could increase profitability.  The scope of the project includes:


-         A detailed examination of current fares.

-         Pricing restrictions from MBS which may impact the purchase decision.

-         Examine the future competitiveness of the Flint market.

-         Examine the nonstop routes being offered from Flint as well as potential future nonstops.

-         Ensure the pricing strategy from the airline perspective is examined.


The quotes for the analysis were The Boyd Group, $10,600 and Eclat, $15,000.  Attached is the proposal from The Boyd Group.  They expect the work to be completed within sixty days.


Mr. Nagel’s recommendation to the Marketing Committee was to proceed with The Boyd Group based on price and past work completed for MBS.  The committee agreed with this recommendation.  Mr. Biltz added that it is difficult to know how you want to go out to market until you know how your product competes with others.  This study will look at both the airline’s and MBS’ perspective of fares and service at MBS.  Boyd was selected based on cost analysis and their past performance.  Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the proposal from The Boyd Group.  Mr. Elder seconded.  Mr. Earley asked what will be done with the results of the study.  Mr. Nagel stated that when the commission asked that this study be done they wanted the results to be shared with Dow Chemical and Dow Corning.  Another marketing committee will be called.  The study will be shared with Northwest and depending on the results it may support The Boyd Group visiting with Northwest.  The Boyd Group has recommended that depending on the results and Northwest’s reaction, it may prompt a visit to another carrier to see if there is any interest.  The Board unanimously passed the motion.


OLD BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel reported that RS& H continues interviewing.  They are reviewing past information, programming information, preliminary site plans, and also working on the benefit cost analysis required by the FAA. 


Mr. Nagel updated the commission regarding Northwest staffing.  It was previously reported that NWA would contract their station staff here at MBS.  Air Wisconsin has been selected.  The transition date is December 12th.  Mr. Nagel stated that he is working with Rich Bostwick to ensure a smooth transition.


Mr. Nagel stated that he received a phone call from the consultant, Commonwealth Associates, regarding the land purchase.  The call involved costs associated with the land in regard to some upcoming events.  Mr. Nagel stated that he preferred it be discussed in closed session.  Chairman Gwizdala asked for a motion.  Mr. Elder made a motion to go into closed session.  Ms. Jones-Ham seconded.  Chairman Gwizdala asked for a roll call vote.  Ms. Meisel called roll; Mr. Beson, yes; George Biltz, yes; Kenneth Distler, yes; Darnell Earley, yes; Brian Elder, yes; Eugene Gwizdala, yes; Wilmer Jones-Ham, yes; Jon Lynch, yes; Hollis McKeag, yes.  Motion carried.




NEW BUSINESS:  Mr. Nagel stated that the next scheduled Tri-County Travel Association luncheon is on Wednesday, November 8th at noon in the Skyroom.


Several farm leases are expiring this year.  Mr. Lippert has reviewed the leases and Mr. Nagel will be working with the existing farmers to determine an interest level and negotiate rates.  Hopefully the leases will be back to the board by November or December.


Mr. Nagel stated that Mesaba is in bankruptcy.  Staff is watching them closely.  It is unsure whether they will liquidate or continue to fly.  Currently MBS has two of the six Detroit flights a day on Mesaba.  This could impact other cities in Michigan much more than MBS if they only have Mesaba service.  The bankruptcy judge is supposed to rule on Monday if they can institute their contract terms with the union as to whether they can strike or not.  Information will be sent as it becomes available. 


Mr. McKeag asked if the office has record of the number of flights that are late or canceled.  Mr. Nagel stated that a monthly record is not kept of late flights however the airlines do report canceled flights.  Mr. McKeag asked if that information could be tracked.  Mr. Biltz added that the station managers have that information for each month and Northwest is currently sending that information to Dow Chemical.  He stated that as a board they should be aware of how MBS’ product is being received.  Mr. McKeag continued that it would be interesting to know what the percentage of the total traffic each carrier is handling.  Mr. Nagel will contact the station managers to request the information.


ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS:  Dr. Distler stated that it would be nice if there was an even balance between both carriers but what if they are not.  Mr. McKeag stated that it would be good to be aware of the percentage to determine if there is ever a dramatic change. 


Dr. Distler asked when the status of the air show would be announced.  Mr. Nagel stated that the show schedule is officially announced in December.


Next regular meeting is scheduled for November 16, 2006.


ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mr. Elder made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Beson seconded and the Board unanimously passed the motion.  The meeting adjourned at 1:29 p.m.




                                                                                                                                                            Hollis H. McKeag, Secretary