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North Adams Airport CommissionMarch 20, 2018
Meetings & Notices
The North Adams Airport Commission will hold its monthly meeting
Tuesday, March 20th 2018 @ 4:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers 1st floor at City Hall the agenda is as follows;
Tuesday March 20th 2018
3.) Airport Managerís Report:
4.) Project Updates:
5.) New Leases & Minimum Standards:
6.) Alex Kelly- Proposal for Flight School
7.) Open Forum:
Minutes, Tuesday March 20th, 2018
Chairman Armand Paul Boillat, called meeting of the North Adams Airport
Commission to order @ 4:15 p.m. in the Council Chambers 1st floor, City Hall.
PRESENT: Armand Paul Boillat Interim , Chairman
Shaun Dougherty ` Dean Bullett
Airport Managerís Report:
Old Business Update:
City Yard Requests / Resolutions:
- Several for plowing and snow bank removal; all taken care of.
Ramp Tie-Down Aircraft:
- Still working on issuing leases for temporary "residents".
- Bennington to close "late April" so expect arrival of DDH airplanes then.
- Numerous, all runway and taxiway surface condition related
Accidents / Incidents:
Complaints / Reports Filed:
Maintenance and Security Monitoring: No Issues
Av Gas Tank reading: 1,860 gallons
Used since last report: 420 gallons
Av Gas Price Per Gallon: $4.50
New England average price per gallon: $5.30
New England lowest price per gallon: $3.99
New England highest price per gallon: $7.99
National average: $4.91
National lowest price per gallon: $3.30
National highest price per gallon: $10.29
Project Updates: ( Stantec): Peter Enzien brought the commission up to date
Enzien also gave a project update and said the two Airport Improvement Projects are largely complete. He said the new gates are operational and the renovated hangar has been inspected and is just awaiting a certificate of occupancy.
"They had their final approval and we just need the physical copy of the CO," he said. "I think the building inspector is on vacation right now so as soon as he is back we should have it."
He said once they have the CO the commission is free to open the public hangar.
Enzien said the commission's next charge is to update their Airport Layout Plan, which has not been updated since 1999.
Alex Kelly (Business Proposal & LEASES:
Alex Kelly, in the back, said the commission seems to be putting hurdles in the way of his opening his business at the airport. He was approved for a flight school but told he'd have to wait for an FAA OK to begin parachuting.
The Airport Commission will gather input from airport users to inform its new lease structure.
Administrative Officer Michael Canales told the commission Tuesday that over the next few months, he will present new leases and minimum standards for the commission and tenants to review.
"That is our plan and we want to keep all of you involved going forward ... we will have a one-month review of the draft, so anyone can comment back to us," Canales said. "We want to bring them forward so everyone involved can comment and be involved in the process going forward."
Some months ago, airport users brought forth inconsistencies in the lease agreements to the commission. Since then, the city has hired a law firm to standardize all the leases at Harriman West Airport.
Canales handed out the contract for ground leases ó which is the agreement hangar owners have with the city. He said he will gather comments next week on this agreement which will be sent off to the city's attorneys for review.
Once reviewed, the commission can approve the new lease.
Canales said he plans to roll out the draft hangar lease next meeting for review.
Airport user Michael Milazzo asked if the city will address leases that have gone unpaid throughout the years.
Canales said at the moment, no.
"Everything is current, so we aren't going to comment on the past right now," he said. "We are going forward ... we will look at the past but right now that is not what we are doing."
In other business, the commission unanimously approved Alex Kelly's request to operate a flight school and skydiving business at the airport.
Kelly has attended the last few meetings with concerns that the commissioners were delaying his approval.
Chairman Paul Boillat said Kelly at this time only has the authorization to run the school and this authorization does not include the use of tie-downs, office space or hangar space.
As for the skydiving portion of his business, the commission said he has to wait because the Federal Aviation Administration has yet to approve a drop zone at the airport.
"We have been in contact with the FAA and we will be submitting an application for review of a drop zone," Boillat said. "It is my understanding that it is a pure FAA call on that. They review the drop zone, they review the area and their main concern safety."
This caught Kelly by surprise and he said this is the first time he has encountered this protocol.
"I have never encountered this before this must be a unique request because typically you just work it out with airport management," he said. "I have conducted several jumps here last year and we have been negotiating this for several years."
He added that he was given the go-ahead by a past iteration of the commission.
Boillat said this may be true and he may have permission from the commission but at this point, the commission does not have permission to give permission.
Peter Enzien of Stantec, the airport's engineering firm, said the FAA has to sign off on the new activity. He said they will review the coordinates of the drop zone just to make sure it's safe and can work with other airport uses.
He said the FAA will make a ruling on it with 45 days.
Kelly said this interrupts his plans to open in the coming weeks.
"This unique hurdle that has just been brought up right now ... I am expecting to open in another couple of weeks and this has never been a hurdle or brought up," he said. "Suddenly this is brought up weeks before I am supposed to open."
Kelly outlined his skydiving protocols, with which the FAA is familiar, and he said he would gladly sit down with the commission and the city and go through these safety protocols. He reiterated that he felt blindsided.
"I have done this at other airports and it has never been an issue ... this new hurdle arose out of nowhere," he said. "Did the FAA contact you and say, 'this guy can't jump out of airplanes over at the airport' is this discriminatory?"
Boillat told Kelly if what he says is true, there should be no issue with the drop zone.
"It sounds like you have your ducks in a row and this should fly right through if what you say is accurate," he said.
He said one of the ALP's main focuses is to designate new projects for Airport Improvement Project Funds. He said currently the projects on the current plan have been completed.
He said a commission will have to be formed to undergo the airport planning and Boillat asked that some of the airport users be on the commission.
Enzien said the plan needs to be submitted in May.
The commission also gave a report from a recent FAA investigation at the airport in which it was reported that an aircraft was improperly worked on.
Boillat said the FAA found no wrongdoing and that Airport Manager Bill Greenwald was not under investigation.
"I want for the record to make sure everybody understands that our airport manager was not under investigation for any wrongdoing," he said. "Bill Greenwald's involvement in this was strictly as the airport manager and it had nothing to do with his hangar or the work being done in his hangar. He is allowed to do maintenance according to his lease. There was no wrongdoing found there."
Kelly alleged that the plan in question was not Greenwald's but Teamfly's.
Boillat reiterated that the FAA found no issues.
"I can tell you that the FAA found no wrongdoing. We have it in writing and that is what we are going to stand by," he said.
Open Forum: The audience questions were answered as they we asked NO OPEM FORUM:
Adjournment: Motion made to adjourn, by Shaun seconded by Dean.
Meeting ended 4:55 p.m.