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San Martin Airport Userís Meeting Minutes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Marshall   
Friday, 09 December 2016
San Martin Airport Userís Meeting Minutes

Wednesday November 30, 2016

Attendees: Paul Marshall, Mark van Wyk, Gene Kindred, Norm Flisram, Walter Gyger, Rod Pharis, Eric Peterson, Pam Srvdlin, Ken Betts

Secretary: Paul Marshall took minutes for the meeting

Paul Marshall called the meeting to order shortly after 12:00 pm.

Normal projects and airport finances:

Eric Petersen presented the status of the county airport system and San Martin airport in particular. See the attached pictures entitled Airports Summary of Activities.jpg and Airport Enterprise Operating Statement Q1.jpg detailing activities, projects, income and expenses at the airports for July, August and September. We note that the airport is running in the black and Ken Betts expects about a $200K (roughly 10% of revenues) surplus for the year. The original budget for the year shows a $300K deficit, but county staff is improving over that figure in real time and we are actually operating in the black at this time. Eric explained that county staff had compiled a list of projects that could generate revenue for the enterprise fund, and if all of them connected at market rate, that up to another $2M of revenue could be added to the current yearly revenue of $2.3M which is flat from year to year. A big revenue increase could go a long way toward providing the Airport Enterprise fund with the kind of money it would like to take best care of our airports. To illustrate the kind of problem we are currently having, Mark van Wyk showed a picture of a 2 or 3 foot high weed growing out of a crack in the pavement at the side of the approach end of runway 32. Eric replied that the $3M paving project that is scheduled to happen will take care of that kind of problem. He also mentioned that the county has guaranteed a loan to the enterprise fund to finance that project and that the paperwork on the loan is being drawn up now.

Eric said that the leaky water line that keeps the taxiways wet around J, I, and H rows is currently being replaced. The new line has been built in a separate trench than the current line. The new line was flushed and sanitized once but failed its water quality test and so needs to be flushed and sanitized again. When it passes, the old line will be taken out of service and the new line will be turned into service and the leaks should stop. Complicating the repair is that the 8Ē water main used for fire suppression was not marked properly during construction and so the contractor broke it, necessitating some additional repairs at the site which are also slowing things down. The cost is estimated at about $80K.

Eric said the current county trailer which is the nominal Terminal for E16 is out for bid for replacement. They hope to replace the single wide trailer with a double wide. If so, perhaps they could return at least part of the space to public use with a restroom so that it can properly be called a Terminal. He has signage ready to go to publicize the location of the terminal, but we recommended not to advertise it unless it is unlocked for public use. If it remains locked, it might be better to term the trailer an airport operations office. Also, we mentioned that it might be better to have a terminal combined with Magnum aviation and the fuel island as so much traffic and a parking lot is based there. There are some things like the county office and AWOS equipment that need to be kept secure and locked even in a public terminal, and that has made it not possible to leave the current trailer unlocked without county staff on site.

SCAPA concerns re the countyís desire to operate its airports long term

Next was a long discussion about the status and future of the 2 county airports.

Some of us at SCAPA heard through a Silicon Valley GA exchange after a recent Airport Commission meeting that the county had directed airport staff to not file for FAA grant money this year because the county was tired of the restrictions that FAA grant money entails. If there is a 20 year tail on grant restrictions, and we havenít received any grant money in 8 years or so, then conceivably a large change in course might be awaiting the airports in 12 years. One of the changes could possibly be that one or both airports would be closed down and the land redirected to some other use. This of course would concern a lot of pilots as detailed in the first document above. Subsequent to that exchange, Eric Peterson, Director of County Airports, wrote a memo to county tenants outlining the progress that is being made on various fronts at our airports. Subsequent to Ericís memo to tenants, Eric transmitted a letter to Silicon Valley GA from his supervisor Michael Murdter, Director, Roads and Airports Dept. Murdterís letter states that the county will take proper care of its airports, but it doesnít commit the county to operating either airport in perpetuity or for any lesser amount of time.

On further discussion, it was explained to us that the county supervisors will have a discussion on this matter during the coming year where they want to accept FAA money and the restrictions that come along with it. We were encouraged by staff to reach out to our supervisors and help them hear our side of the story, that the airports are a dynamic contributor to the economy and safety of the region, as well as helping provide young people better access to future careers in aviation, providing professional pilots with a means to seek their employment, and by improving the quality of life of those people who fly for the joy of it at their local county airport. We note that this yearís budget for the airports shows a $300K loss, and that the supervisors have communicated to staff that the airports should pay their own way. We were also told that with vigorous effort on the part of county staff, the current outlook is to end the year about $200K in the black. We also note that many people have complained about the state of maintenance of the airports, and that the supervisors may have a concern about liability the county could have if it is found not to be maintaining the airports as it should. We also heard that county staff has researched the origin of funds for the purchase of the Reid Hillview land, and found that the land appears to have been paid for 50.2% by FAA funds, and that the FAA considers this a permanent usage restriction for the land. We also heard that no documentation has been found describing how the San Martin airport land was purchased, and if that continues to be the case, could be the basis for the county asserting that it is not required to allow the operation of an airport in perpetuity in San Martin. It is possible the state provided purchase assistance for the San Martin land. Walter Gyger noted that he recently spoke with Cindy Chavez at a fundraising event and she seemed to have some misconceptions about neighborhood noise complaints that are in reality no longer occurring. His experience was that it is helpful to stay in front of the supervisors and communicate to them the value that the airports deliver to the county.

California bullet train impact on E16

Dan Petroff asked us to talk about the bullet train that is planned to run between the bay area and Los Angeles. 2 of the 5 proposed routes go down highway 101 through San Martin essentially where the airport is. We need someone to get active on this. Eric stated that they couldnít impact the airport, but it is a fact the train must impact something. We requested the county to engage on this issue on our behalf. We donít want the bullet train to impair operations at E16.

Other items:

Mark van Wyk received in the SCAPA Post Office Box mail from FEMA which contained two awards for the SCAPA DART. FEMA runs a national contest each year among community disaster preparedness groups where they are encouraged to describe how they are improving the world of disaster preparedness. SCAPA DART received two certificates in Honorable Mention for the areas of Preparing the Whole Community and Awareness to Take Action. Thanks to Rod Pharis who submitted the paperwork to be considered for these awards.

Rod Pharis mentioned that the electrical lighting is in bad shape. Pam and Eric mentioned that they have arranged a county electrician to repair the problem, but need a list of bad lights. Rod has provided that subsequent to the meeting and we should see some better working lights in the not distant future.

We discussed that the toilets at the runway side of G and H rows are not flushing well. Pam advised that the water pressure has been turned down to keep the broken water pipes from leaking so badly, and that the toilets may flush fine when the water pressure comes back up.

 
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