Before reporting on the meeting’s agenda, we need to introduce the new Airport Manager for Flying Cloud and Crystal Airports. Melissa Galvan Peterson has recently been appointed to this position. She is a graduate of St. Cloud University and has since held several airport management positions. She was Assistant Airport Operations Manager at Bismarck Airport, Airport Manager at Wilmar Airport, and Assistant to Airport Manager/Intern at South St. Paul Airport-Fleming Field.
Melissa replaces Jeff Nawrocki, who now holds the position of Assistant Director of MSP Operations/Facilities.
Another new face at the RAAC meeting was Allen Dye, Assistant Direct of Airport Development. He is replacing Bridget Rief who is now Director of Airport Development.
Now for the Agenda:
A. Introduction of Melissa Peterson.
B. Summary of the 2014 Capital Improvement Projects by Al Dye:
Flying Cloud: Runway grooving. Rwy 10R/28L, expected runway closure is Apr 21-26
Anoka Co/Blaine: Runway grooving. Rwy 9/27, expected runway closure is Apr 28-May 3
St. Paul will have electrical vault improvements, and updating of airfield directional signage. There will also be reconstruction of TWY C and the lighting system. MAC will undertake joint and crack improvements in the worst areas. Finally, the MAC Maintenance Building will receive improvements to the staff break, restroom, and shower areas.
Airlake: The Maintenance Building will receive improvements to the restroom and shower areas as well as structural areas.
Crystal: Pavement rehab as follows: Replace pavement for Twy C at the north end to just southeast of Twy E4; also, west of Rwy 14R a portion of Twy B and the taxiway in front of Shamrock. The large tie-down area between Shamrock, Twy B and Twy E will be removed and replaced with turf.
C. Update on Tower closures by Joe Harris: We are ok through September 30, 2014, but after that, it is up to Congress and the Federal Budget process, a replay of last year. Joe also reviewed MAC’s ownership of the ANE tower electronic equipment. It is getting old, and if shut down, it might not restart.
D. AWOS Identifier Issue for Lake Elmo: John Renwick, Lake Elmo RAAC rep, reviewed this problem.
The identifier for Lake Elmo Airport, 21D, may need to be changed to an identifier using all letters (no numbers). The International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO sets the standards for these identifiers. Apparently, as technology has changed, some flight plans cannot be filed when there is a number in the identifier. Users of Lake Elmo want to have an Identifier with all letters. Although, this has been accomplished by other airports in Minnesota, getting MAC staff to push the FAA to make this change has been difficult. Fortunately, Joe Harris committed to sending the necessary paperwork into the FAA in the near future.
E. Facility Acquisition Fee: Kelly Gerads reviewed the MAC proposal to lower this fee significantly. In the simplest terms, the fee would be 50% of the annual lease fee. The RAAC reps agreed with Ms. Gerads request to take this proposal directly to a Public Hearing. This change, if approved by the Commission, would eventually be written into the “Lease Policies”, not into the Lease document.
F. Update on Self-Fueling Policy: Kelly Gerads reviewed the FAA’s requirements that such a policy be in place. There will be a Public Meeting on this topic on March 20, 2014 at 6 PM in the MAC’s General Offices, 6040 28th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55450.
G. Non-Aeronautical Revenue: Eric Johnson, MAC Director of Commercial Management & Airline Affairs, could not be present at this meeting, so staff presented a video of Eric briefing MAC staff on this topic last week. The realtor MAC is working with is CBRE. MAC staff & CBRE now have Eden Prairie City Council approval to develop a 4.28 acre parcel on the northwest corner of the airport. MAC also has the required FAA land release. This is the first site to be actively marketed. The realtor expects a lot of interest. You can see their marketing brochure with this link:
http://www.cbre.us/o/minneapolis/AssetLibrary/PioneerTrail4Acres_%20Brochure.pdf MAC staff is currently working with the City of Blaine to gain their approval on several sites.
H. Update on Hangar Maintenance Progress: Joe Harris presented a slide show of hangars that have been improved. Hangars at Lake Elmo that are next to the highway have received major improvements. Hangars at he south end of ANE which are visible from a major highway have also been improved and repainted. There is still a lot of work to be done. Bruce Wiley, MIC rep, suggested that Crystal needed major improvements and perhaps the proverbial carrot on a stick was not adequate motivation. Joe explained that MAC committed to working with tenants in a positive and cooperative manner and plans to continue that approach. Bruce mentioned two specific issues at Crystal, both fronting on Bottineau Blvd. One hangar does not have hangar doors and the other hangar has an unattractive, dated paint scheme. Joe pointed out that MAC would be spending a lot of money this summer on pavement upgrades at Crystal. Hopefully that will convince tenants the airport will continue to exist and hangar improvements are a sound investment.
To emphasize this idea, the RAAC agreed to hold its next meeting at Crystal Airport on June 10, 2014.