MBAA Gov't Affairs Report September 2011
September 2011 Government Liaison Report
Sept 1 – Gordon met with Representative Beard to discuss shifting a portion of aviation sales tax revenue from the general fund to the state airports fund. Rep. Beard offered to set up a meeting with Rep. Davids, Chair, House Tax Committee. Rep. Beard also stated that the Legislative session was expected to be short, 10 weeks. He suggested that the MBAA have its bill language ready by the end of October.
Sept 6 – Gordon attended the Minnesota Chamber Transportation Policy Committee meeting. Tom Sorel, Commissioner, Mn/DOT, presented some of Mn/DOT’s priorities regarding roads, bridges and transit. Aviation was not included in the presentation.
Sept 9 – Task Force members Greg Reigel, Michael Lawrence (MATA), Bill Towle, Harold Van Leeuwen, Jr. (MCOA) and Gordon (MBAA) met in St. Cloud to start planning the Aviation Day at the Capitol. They set Tuesday, February 7, 2012, as the date. In addition they agreed to explore the cost of vests or polo shirts for participants, outlined some of the issues to be included in a handout for the legislators, and discussed obtaining a small token to be given to the legislative assistants, such as a candy bar with an aviation wrapper.
Suggested issues to be in a handout for legislators included; preservation and modernization of system, adequate funding, lower a/c registration, fuel costs, and navigational aids & weather systems must be maintained and updated. If there are other issues that you would like to add to the list, please contact Gordon.
The Task Force will meet again on October 6, from 1000 to noon, at Key Air.
Sept 12 – Gordon travelled to Granite Falls and met with Rob Ator, Director, Fagen Inc. Flight Department, to plan an MBAA hosted luncheon at the Granite Falls Community Center. The keynote speaker will be Chris Roy, Director, Mn/DOT Office of Aeronautics. Mr. Roy’s presentation will focus on the proposed State Aviation System Plan, State Airports Funding, and the importance of telling how your airport the economic it has on your community. The date of the luncheon is October 19, 2011. Information regarding this meeting will be advertised in about 24 communities in southwester Minnesota.
Sept 19 – Gordon attended the MAC Full Commission meeting. The Thunderbird Aviation Redevelopment at Flying Cloud Airport was on the agenda. After a lengthy discussion regarding the inclusion of a minimum standards grandfather clause in the lease, the Commissioners voted 12 -2 to approve the Thunderbird redevelopment project.
Sept 21 – Neil Brackin, MBAA Board Member and Gordon met with Conrad deFiebre, Fellow, Minnesota 2020. The Minnesota 2020 Web site states “Minnesota 2020 is a progressive, new media, non-partisan think tank focused on what really matters”. Mr. deFiebre is working on a story regarding the potential lose of Essential Air Service at several Minnesota airports. While researching material for the story he discovered that Schwan’s operates a shuttle between Marshall and MSP. He met with the Schwan’s flight department and learned about some of the challenges faced by business aviation and the MBAA. He contacted Gordon and set up a meeting. During the meeting Neil and Gordon discussed the MBAA legislative efforts over the past few years to make Minnesota a more inviting state for business aviation and to maintain adequate funding for the State Airports Fund. Mr. deFiebre expects his report will be published in October.
Sept 26 – Jeff Balagna, Owner, Premier Jet Center, Brandt Lindquist, MBAA President, Kristi Stengl, MBAA Vice President, Richard Sedgwick, MBAA Legislative Committee Member, Jon Krall, MBAA Board Member, Neil Brackin, MBAA Board Member, Brian Barber, Polaris Inc. based at FCM and Michael Lawrence, Key Air at ANE and Gordon met with Dan Boivin, Chair Metropolitan Airports Commission, Denny Probst, MAC Deputy Executive Director and Mitch Kilian, MAC Director Government Affairs. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the role of business aviation at the MAC airports. Issues discussed included the MAC proposal to modify the funding for reliever airports, the needs of the business aviation operations, and how the MAC and MBAA can work together to continue the excellent system of MAC airports and the growth of commercial and business aviation in Twin Cities.
Sept 27 – Joanne Kabajungu, MBAA intern and Gordon met with Chris Roy, Director MnDOT Aeronautics, to discuss the October 19 meeting in Granite Falls. Judy Meyers, Airport Operations, prepared mailing labels of the 21 airport managers in Southwestern Minnesota. The announcement was mailed on September 30.
Gordon met with Anne Finn and Heather Cederholm, League of Minnesota Cities. They agreed to send the MBAA announcement of the October 19 meeting to the city administrators in the 21targeted cities. Gordon met with Representative Howes, Chair House Capital Investment Committee. The discussion was regarding the upcoming legislative session and the possibility of including an airport project in a bonding bill. Representative Howes said the MBAA should submit its request and it would be considered.
Sept 28 – Gordon met with Abbey Bryduck, Transportation Policy Advisor, Association of Minnesota Counties. Abbey agreed to send out an electronic announcement of the MBAA October 19 meeting to the County Commissioners in Southwest Minnesota.