Date:  Thursday September 10, 2020 (09/10/20)

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Thursday, September 10, 2020  
Airport Administration Building 
8807 Airport Boulevard 
Leesburg, Florida

1.  Call to Order
  • Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
2,  Approval of Minutes – August 13, 2020

3.  Project Update

  • Runway 13/31 Rehab
  • Box Storage Hangar Construction
  • US Customs & Border Protection Office Interior Remodel
  • Air Traffic Control Tower Equipment Upgrade
  • Main Ramp Resurfacing

 4.  New Business

 5.  Adjournment



Airport Advisory Board Minutes
September 10, 2020 5:30pm
Airport Administration Building
8807 Airport Boulevard
Leesburg, Florida


Attendance:                 Mark Crawford 
                                             Byron Oldham 
                                             Alan Reisman 
                                             Bo Wroten

Call to Order

Chairman Alan Reisman called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.

Chairman Reisman gave the invocation and led the Pledge of Allegiance

Approval of Minutes from August 13, 2020 Meeting

Bo Wroten made a motion that the minutes from the August 13, 2020 be accepted as presented.  Mark Crawford seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Airport Project Update

RW 13/31 Rehab:  Airport Manager (AM) Tracey Dean reported the construction grant from the FAA was received and signed by all parties on September 4, 2020.  The grant is slightly over $5.2 million.  She will present the grant, the construction agreement and the construction administration, oversight and inspection services contract to the City Commission for approval consideration on September 14, 2020.  A preconstruction meeting will be scheduled around the week of September 22, 2020.  A Notice to Proceed (NTP) date will be discussed at that meeting.  The contractor has ten days to mobilize after the NTP date and the construction contract term is 180 consecutive days.  Chairman Reisman asked if all tenants will be invited to the preconstruction meeting.  AM Dean responded that the invitees will be the contractor, the engineers, the tower manager, the FAA and FDOT representatives and herself.  The tenants will be informed via email and or a separate meeting regarding preparations and project timelines once those decisions are made.

Main Ramp Resurfacing:  AM Dean said GAI Consultants is designing the apron rehabilitation.  Preliminary design and grading and drainage is nearing completion.  There is meeting scheduled on September 15th with tenants who are directly impacted regarding the layout of tie-downs.  The tie downs sizing and location is not compliant with the FAA standards.  The consultants will provide various alternatives.  Some tie down spaces may not be replaced.  Traffic patterns on the ramp will also be discussed.  BHI and SunAir have the majority of the tie down spaces. 

A separate meeting will be held with all tenants prior to construction regarding the phasing and safety plan.  This meeting will serve to inform tenants of affected areas and how they will gain airfield access during the resurfacing.  Construction will start, approximately April or May 2021 after the runway work is done. 

Bo Wroten asked if this project will also address the realignment of Alpha.  AM Dean reported it does not.  The Alpha project is pushed out multiple years because the pavement is in very good condition and it would not be eligible for grant funding.  Bo Wroten said having direct access from the ramp to the runway is very dangerous.  AM Dean agreed that it is a dangerous situation. It is not compliant with FAA and will need to be addressed.  The proposed way to eliminate this out-of-compliance pathway is to eliminate Alpha 2.  This will be discussed further as design progresses.  Chairman Reisman commented that Alpha 2 is the main entrance to BHI and he would be opposed to its removal.  AM Dean commented that rebuilding but offsetting Alpha 2 from Delta appears to be unnecessary due to Alpha 1 and Alpha 3 being available for access.  AM Dean has also spoken to the tower staff and they are not opposed to eliminating Alpha 2.  She noted the tower operators are the ones who direct the aircraft to the ramp.          

Box Storage Hangar Construction:  AM Dean reported the north hangar framing, structural steel and roofing are nearing completion.  The contractor is preparing the sub-base for the pouring of the concrete aprons.  The electrical subcontractor and the fire sprinkler subcontractor are on site and starting to rough in their respective installations.  The water line wet-tap is scheduled for Friday morning for the fire sprinkler water supply.  The south hangar concrete slab passed and was approved for the install of the structural steel.  Steel installation is well underway and progressing on schedule. 

Chairman Reisman asked if the hangars will be painted and/or if there was an option during design to order matching colors.  AM Dean responded that there is not a current plan to paint the buildings.  She recalls some details of a conversation regarding the color of the steel during design and believes the decision was based mostly on cost.  Since the buildings will be new and clean, AM Dean felt that function was the only concern not cosmetic color choice.

Bo Wroten asked if the new tenants are selected.  AM Dean reported that offers for all ten units were made.  She has received six signed agreements.  One more is confirmed but has not turned in paperwork.  Two others are still considering, one of whom is waiting for the engineers to draw and sketch the possibility of fitting two aircraft into one unit; the other whom has not made a final decision.  Lastly, one other has not decided; he did not expect to be called this soon.  AM Dean commented that two based tenants are relocating from a t-hangar.  AM Dean is trying to line up all the tenants now, so minimal revenue is lost.  Eight new tenants will most likely need to give 30 days’ notice or more to the airport they are currently based at. 

Chairman Reisman asked what type of door is on the hangars.  AM Dean responded it is a one-piece hydraulic door.     

US Customs and Border Protection Remodel:  AM Dean said a Zoom meeting was recently held with the CBP staff members and the GAI Consultants Team to review the revised 100% plans.  There was a request for electrical low voltage detail on three plan sheets.  Those revision have been resubmitted for their review and we are waiting for their final approval.  GAI will provide a construction cost estimate.  City Procurement staff will formally bid the construction portion of the project.  If necessary, AM Dean will approach FDOT for additional funds and the project will be presented to Commission for approval consideration. 

Chairman Reisman asked if all agreements for Customs to remain open have been signed.  AM Dean responded that the agreement with Renee Morse has been signed and The Villages agreement remained as-is.        

Air Traffic Control Tower Equipment:  AM Dean said that the contractor/installer of the radio equipment, RVA, Inc is on site today starting the installation.  They arrived yesterday and have already performed the annual Tower Certification, passing all equipment as being in good operating condition.  The installation of the new radio equipment will take a couple of days.  There will be no interruption of services during the changeover. 

Brian Sapp inquired if there was any intent to get an ATIS (automatic terminal information service) and/or radar in the tower.  AM Dean responded that she had inquired about radar with many personnel at the Air Traffic Organization for the past five years and it is unlikely.  As for an ATIS; the FAA and the NOAA team researched moving the ASOS from the vault to the tower and then having the capability to hardwire the two together.  This would have been the ideal situation; however, a site visit proved that there is no space within the tower to install the ASOS.  Leaving the ASOS in the vault and installing an ATIS in the tower would result in additional upfront costs and also recurring costs, such as phone lines.  AM Dean is still researching the costs to know if it is viable and financially feasible.  A benefit of the ATIS is that the controller staff can record information on it.    

Airport Manager Update

AM Dean had no additional information to report.

New Business

Ned Bowers, owner of Skybolt, brought up concerns about the reported annual operations for LEE that he found documented in a FDOT publication.  He asked where the documented numbers originated from.  AM Dean said the Tower staff collects and reports the information, split up between local traffic, IFR, VFR and military operations.  It is further broken down by day, peak day and peak hour.  The Excel spreadsheet is an FAA created document.  Each month she is provided with the previous month total numbers, to which they add the seaplane ops.  The data is uploaded to an FAA website which in turn automatically updates the Airport’s 5010 record – a living document with all LEE data.  Ned Bowers said he is skeptical of the high numbers and is strongly concerned that the tower staff is not reporting properly.  He believes that they are inflating the operation counts.  He is further concerned that this could negatively impact the City/Airport; perhaps grants would be withheld if this was true.  AM Dean said that the controllers have no reason for falsifying the data.  They report directly to the FAA and they are staffed by the FAA.  AM Dean also noted ed that everything in the tower is voice recorded.  The City has no part in acquiring or reporting that data.  For the last 5 years, LEE annual operations have been around 62,000+.  This past year operations were over 75,000.  This may in part be attributable to the many who use our airport for training.  Brian Sapp commented that each take-off and landing is a separate operation, so each touch and go is counted as two ops.  Bo Wroten commented on the many flight schools that use LEE and he believes the numbers.  Bo Wroten also stated that before the tower was built the numbers were doubled.      

Chairman Reisman inquired why July rent was showing a decrease.  AM Dean informed that this was due to Ruby Tuesday and Cracker Barrell deferred rent due to COVID.  After the deferred period they will pay their regular monthly rent and the deferred rent.  Chairman Reisman asked if they requested it or if the City offered it.  AM Dean reported that Ruby Tuesday sent a request letter.  She is uncertain about Cracker Barrell, whose arrangements began with the City Manager and/or the Mayor.  She only received the deferral agreement after it had been executed.

Byron Oldham commented that he has done more research on Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) crafts and the companies that are pursuing FAA approval and he is excited about the possible opportunities.  He will bring his working document to a future meeting.  He found over fifty companies working on this technology.  He is also assembling a marketing letter and will ask his Commissioner to sign off on it for use to email company executives to see about bringing business to Leesburg.  He is a member of the VTOL Society.  He suggested an advertisement in a VTOL publication.  


Chairman Reisman made a motion to adjourn.  The motion was seconded by Byron Oldham and the meeting adjourned at 6:12pm.