MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT COMMISSION
The meeting was held in the Airport
Commission Board Room,
Present Absent & Excused Staff Other
George J. Biltz A. T. Lippert Rich Bostwick, NWA
Darnell Earley Ryan Riesinger Angela Osmond, TSA
K. Elder Debbie
Meisel Amy Payne,
Wilmer Jones-Ham (arrived )
JANUARY 2007 WARRANT AND CASH & INVESTMENT SUMMARY: Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the Warrant Registers for the January Payroll Account Check Numbers 82866-82919; the January Operations and Maintenance Check Numbers 37244-37318; and the January Cash and Investment Summary. Mr. Elder seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved it.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None
SNOW BROOM SPECIFICATIONS: Mr. Nagel stated that the 2007 AIP projects include a new snow broom. Brooms play a pivotal roll in keeping the runways clear during a snow event.
To begin this process specifications must be developed and the equipment bid. In the past Peckham Engineering has been used for this process and it worked well. A contract has been received for Peckham to prepare the specs and oversee the bidding process in the amount of $5,967.74. The contract is subject to the approval of the MBS state project manager. Mr. Lippert will review the contract as to form.
Mr. Beson made a motion to approve the contract with Peckham Engineering to develop specifications for a snow broom and authorization for the Chairman to sign with Mr. Biltz seconding. Mr. Biltz asked Mr. Nagel to explain the redundancy of Exhibit I and II since both list a snow broom. Mr. Nagel stated the multi purpose tractor has a small broom on it that will be used on street and air side in small tight areas. It is about 11-12 feet long as compared to this snow broom which is an all-wheel steer high speed runway sweeper with a 20 foot broom used on runways. The multi purpose tractor is approximately $130,000 as compared to $700,000. There being no further questions the board voted unanimously on the motion.
MULTIPURPOSE TRACTOR (PFC #5): Mr. Nagel stated that a multipurpose tractor is listed on PFC application #5. In 2006, the commission approved a contract for Peckham Engineering to write the specifications, prepare bid documents, receive the bids and provide a recommendation based on the bids received.
The specifications included the multipurpose tractor, front-mounted snow sweeper, front-mounted snow blower and a rear-mounted material spreader. These items are all eligible under the PFC program. Another advantage of purchasing a vehicle like this is the ability to utilize it for mowing operations during the summer months. A front-mounted rotary mower and a front-mounted sickle mower were included in the bid package. These two items are not eligible for PFC reimbursement.
Three bids were received in response to the specifications. One bid was received for the front-mounted snow sweeper only leaving two bids for the entire package. These bids were:
Bell Equipment (representing Holder)
Tractor, Broom, Snow Blower and Spreader $101,320.00
Rotary Mower and Sickle Mower 32,300.00
Weingartz Golf & Turf (representing Trackless)
Tractor, Broom, Snow Blower and Spreader $110,661.72
Rotary Mower and Sickle Mower 28,282.00
A careful review found minor discrepancies with each bid, which is
typical for airport equipment. The bid
from Bell Equipment had several major exceptions including inadequate transmission,
hydraulic system, battery capacity and tires.
The type of winter tires specified were not included in the
Based on a review of all information submitted for the bids, the recommendation of Peckham Engineering is to award the bid to Weingartz based on price and best conformity to the specifications. Mr. Nagel reviewed the information along with the airport maintenance supervisor and agreed with the recommendation from Peckham Engineering.
Mr. Biltz made a motion to approve the bid for a multipurpose tractor and accessories to Weingartz Golf & Turf with Ms. Jones-Ham seconding. After discussion the motion passed unanimously.
MARKETING COMMITTEE REPORT: Mr. Biltz gave Dr. Distler’s apology for not being present; he had an out of town seminar. His letter was included in the packet.
Mr. Biltz thanked Mr. Nagel for his assistance since this was a very
detailed review process. He helped with
the correct terms and format to be able to get the answers from the Boyd
Group. Quite a bit of time was spent in
reviewing the report and asking questions.
This is the most detailed study MBS has received about the differences
of the two markets. The committee looked
at published fares, availability, different capacities, different perceptions
between travel agents and the traveling public.
The key findings looking at the full picture, by and large MBS is fairly
Mr. Lynch stated that after reviewing the report that a major carrier
like NWA may not be as concerned about the number of empty seats in one market
versus another given the demand for seats at the hub. Mr. Lynch asked to what extent it appears
that the absence of concern for empty seats drives some of Northwest’s decisions
at MBS. Mr. Biltz stated the airlines
look at the destination not necessarily each flight connecting. NWA does have the higher market share at MBS so
if the passenger goes to
Mr. Beson stated that it appears that the communication and understanding between MBS and Northwest is improving. It is important to keep good communication with NWA so that when times improve it will help MBS. Mr. Biltz agreed and stated that Northwest looks at their whole map route for the world and MBS is focusing locally. The communication between NWA and MBS has improved over the past couple of years but could go farther.
Mr. Biltz stated that the committee has three recommendations and
referred to Mr. Nagel. Mr. Nagel stated
that the first recommendation is to increase efforts to recruit additional
airlines to serve MBS. Based on the Boyd
study, having a third carrier enter the MBS market would help keep fares
competitive. Committee discussion
included the recruitment of a low fare carrier, similar to Air Tran in
The committee discussed the various ways to recruit additional airline serve. One such program is the DOT Small Community Air Service Grant. This program offers an excellent opportunity to match local funds with federal dollars to recruit additional airline service, market that service once it is established and to provide risk abatement for the carrier once the service begins.
At this time, the DOT docket on the program has not been released. Mr. Nagel anticipates a grant request level of $100,000 local and $500,000 federal for a $600,000 total program. The local money is not needed at this time and would only be required if our application is approved.
The recommendation is to authorize the airport manager to work with The Boyd Group to prepare an application for a Small community air Service Grant in 2007. This is a very competitive process and The Boyd Group has experienced a level of success for their clients. Estimated cost for the consultant is $5,000 which is within the spending limit of Mr. Nagel.
Discussion took place in regards to recommendation number one that the competition could not only come from another airline but possibly NWA. There were also comments that another airline could be more than the market can bare and what are the chances that they would fold. Mr. Nagel stated that several times there have been more than two carriers serving MBS. It was stated that it should be a requirement that it should be jet service with restrooms. Mr. Nagel explained that the type of aircraft would be decided during negotiations, not during the grant process. Mr. Biltz stated that there is no money at risk until an airline would be accepted and then it would be presented to the board for approval.
Mr. Biltz presented the second recommendation stating that another issue
discussed at the committee meeting was the fare and restriction disparity
between MBS and
As a follow-up, a local travel agent should be asked to assist with this
project by providing ongoing analysis of the low fare inventory being offered
from MBS and
The recommendation of the committee is to authorize the airport manager to negotiate with The Boyd Group to perform the work outlined and work with a local travel agent for ongoing assistance with monitoring the fare inventory.
The third recommendation was presented by Mr. Elder. It is the committee’s recommendation that the
airport manager prepare a Request for Proposal for firms to engage in
marketing/advertising for MBS. The
public has a perception that it is cheaper to fly out of
Mr. McKeag stated that he would like to see a marketing budget on
paper. Mr. Nagel stated that he brings
marketing budgets to the board about twice a year and the board approves
them. Mr. Biltz stated that MBS spends
less in marketing than
Mr. Lynch asked if there is an opportunity in the context of the RFP to have the bidding firm explain the methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign. Hopefully the firm would be able to inform the airport of which type of advertising is received the best. Mr. Biltz stated that advertising is notoriously hard to quantify but that does not stop MBS from asking.
There being no further questions, Mr. Earley thanked Mr. Nagel and the committee for their thorough report and bringing it to the board prior to any commitments. Chairman Gwizdala also thanked them and asked them to continue with the process and report back to the board.
OLD BUSINESS: Mr. Nagel stated that on the five year plan there are several projects for 2007 that MBS has not yet received grants for. Resolutions have not been brought to the board. Typically that is done by this time of year however Congress has not passed the appropriate legislation. It was passed by the Senate yesterday and the House passed it earlier this year. The President is expected to sign the legislation possibly today to fund the FAA and Department of Transportation which will then initiate the 2007 program. AIP is estimated to be a $3.5 billion. Mr. Nagel expects to get all the dollars for the 2007 projects. There is also $10 million in the program for Small Community Development Grant. This is less than last year and it will be a competitive market. Once the docket is released MBS will apply for that grant. Hopefully in March or April resolutions will be brought to the board for the grants.
Mr. Nagel stated that currently there is no federal plan for AIP funding in 2008 and beyond. Some form of funding will be coming but some proposals have been released in the last couple of weeks. AIP entitlement dollars may go down but the PFC cap may go up. They are also looking at various user fees as well. It’s interesting timing with the MBS terminal project coming. The goal of the administration and Congress is to get the funding source for 2008 in place so airports can continue to plan and go to work in 2008 and beyond for airport capital programs.
Mr. Nagel stated that he does have a trip scheduled to
Mr. Earley asked if Mr. Nagel was to a point where he could construct some type of a timeline for the terminal project. Mr. Nagel said that he has been working with RS&H and would be able to formulate a timeline however there will be continual changes.
Ms. Jones-Ham asked about the user fees that were mentioned in the grant funding. Mr. Nagel stated that it is potential future user fees such as fuel tax increases and air traffic control user fees. There has been debate between the Air Transport Association and the general aviation groups as to how the air traffic control system will be funded. Mr. Nagel stated that he doesn’t anticipate any new user fees to airline passengers; there already is a tax in place and a passenger facility charge, however those amounts may change to be determined at a future date.
NEW BUSINESS. Mr. Nagel updated the board that staff is preparing in house to go out to bid for a tractor and a field mower. This is different than the mower that was included in the multi purpose tractor. This would replace a 1994 26 foot bat wing mower that is pulled by a 1995 tractor. This is not AIP eligible so it will be locally funded. Both of these are in the 10 year plan for 2007 purchase. It is because of the preventative maintenance that the maintenance department does in off season that the number of years and hours were able to be obtained. During the season mowing takes place approximately six hours a day almost every day. It is important that the grass be mowed for wildlife control. FAA guideline requires that the grass be kept short. The bid will definitely be over $10,000 so the bids will come to the board for approval hopefully in March. Mr. Nagel complimented the mechanics that work year around on the equipment. They are currently getting all the spring equipment ready.
Mr. Biltz asked why the equipment isn’t run until it dies. Mr. Nagel explained that it is at that point. $5,000 will get it operating but there is no guarantee. Last year it had a lot of down time.
ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS: Next regular meeting is scheduled for
Mr. Early stated that he will be unable to attend the March meeting.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mr. Biltz made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Earley seconded and the Board unanimously passed the motion. The meeting adjourned at
Hollis H. McKeag, Secretary