Documents & Links:
1. Call to Order
2. Selection of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
3. Approval of Minutes – December 10, 2020
4. Blackbird Aviation – Second Amendment to Lease
5. Mid-Florida Chapter 534 Experimental Aircraft Association – Renewal Lease Agreement
6. Project Update
7. Airport Manager Update
8. New Business
Attendance: Tweet Coleman
Fred Griffin, Jr.
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.
Chairman Reisman introduced the two new Board members – Tweet Coleman and Fred Griffin, Jr. – and asked them to tell those present a little about themselves.
Tweet Coleman said she has been involved in aviation for over 40 years. That has included time as an instructor and a corporate pilot. She was also with the FAA for over 20 years in several capacities including as an inspector, accident investigator and as the transportation attaché for the FAA in London, England. She thinks this airport has a lot of potential and is very happy to be on the Board.
Fred Griffin, Jr. said he is a Lake County native and is excited to be on the Board. He is an entrepreneur and has a school and group home for disabled individuals in Eustis. He mentors all across Lake County schools and his biggest task right now is at Leesburg High School where he works with Two Steps in Common. He thinks there are great opportunities to introduce Leesburg High School to the airport and thanked everyone for welcoming him.
Selection of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Bo Wroten nominated Alan Reisman for Chairman. Byron Oldham seconded the nomination. Alan Reisman was selected as Chairman by a unanimous vote.
Alan Reisman nominated Bo Wroten as Vice-Chairman. Byron Oldham seconded the motion. Bo Wroten was selected as Vice-Chairman by a unanimous vote.
Approval of Minutes from December 10, 2020 Meeting
Bo Wroten made a motion to approve the minutes from the December 10, 2020 meeting as written. Byron Oldham seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Blackbird Aviation – Second Amendment to Lease Agreement
Airport Manager (AM) Dean said this hangar is used solely for storage. It was recently found that the owner does not have all the required insurance that is listed in the lease agreement. However, since he only uses the hangar for storage, much of the coverage is not needed. This amendment eliminates the need for those additional coverages (Completed Operations and Hangar Keepers) and will bring him into compliance. The amendment was written so that if he gets a sub-tenant or assigns the lease and the use of the hangar changes, he can increase the coverage to allow for those new uses.
Bo Wroten asked if the only thing that might change this is if he sub-leased the hangar to someone who required more coverage. AM Dean said that is correct. For example, he might get a sub-tenant for half of the hangar who wants to do mechanical work. In that case, the mechanic would need Completed Operations coverage and the owner would need to get Hangar Keepers coverage.
Byron Oldham asked if this is a unique situation. AM Dean said the lease is kind of boiler plate language. It probably did not need to be in the original lease since it is a storage hangar and there is no commercial activity.
Bo Wroten made a motion to accept the lease amendment as presented. Byron Oldham seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Mid-Florida Chapter 534 Experimental Aircraft Association – Renewal Lease Agreement
AM Dean said the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) currently occupies a hangar on the field. They originally had a five-year lease with one one-year renewal option. The Board approved the one-year option last year and it expires at the end of March. The renewal lease is for a term of five years.
The Chapter does many activities that promote the airport. These activities are in lieu of rent paid and have values tied to them. She believes the values are still relevant. COVID has limited what they could do for the past several months, but they have still been active with the youth program as much as possible.
Tweet Coleman asked how many members they have. Steve Tilford said there are currently 137.
Joel Hargis introduced himself as the Past-President of EAA. He also introduced the current President, Steve Tilford and John Weber who is the Vice-President and Director of Squadron 534.
Joel Hargis said they started the youth program, known as Squadron 534, about four to five years ago. As part of the national program called “Young Eagles” they provide free airplane rides for kids ages 8-17. In normal times they fly about nine months of the year and give rides to about 200 kids. Through Squadron 534 they also have activities at the hangar nearly every Saturday where the kids can do things like learn about building airplanes and use the simulators. It is a very educational program. He noted that the activities related to Squadron 534 were not included in the old lease as part of their values, but they are included in the new lease. He said that even with the pandemic they were able to do some programs at the hangar including several ground schools. They have also had some interaction with Leesburg High School students over the years through some visits to the school and speaking to students during the SPARK program’s annual airport visit. Their goals are to promote aviation in general as well as the airport itself and to get kids involved and interested in aviation. Without the hangar, they would not be able to do any of these things.
EAA has a national program that annually awards 100 kids scholarships valued at $10,000.00 each to help them get their pilot license. As a result of their Chapter’s efforts and activities, two of the kids in their program have received the scholarship and both are now licensed pilots. They have a third student who is currently trying to get a scholarship as well.
Steve Tilford said he has been part of EAA for eight years. He loves this program and wishes there had been something like this when he was younger. They have a number of projects going now and there are many great mentors in the group. They are able to show the kids all the different careers that are available in the field of aviation. They also work with local youth programs such as scouts and church groups.
Tweet Coleman asked what the normal rent would be for this hangar. AM Dean said it would be based on a ground lease of $.15 per square foot plus the hangar. The hangar is approximately 3,000 square feet so it would be about $5,000 annually. Each of their in-kind services has a value assigned and she tracks their activities. They usually exceed the $5,000 value by several thousand dollars. Anything listed in the lease is tracked – that includes fly-ins and Young Eagle flights. They also do other activities that are not specifically included in the lease and she notes those as well.
Byron Oldham said the organization is very impressive. This Board has a fiduciary responsibility to the airport so they need to make sure the airport is receiving the value that is promised in the lease. As long as the activities are being tracked and the airport manager believes the obligations are being met, he is good with the agreement.
Bo Wroten made a motion to accept the agreement as presented. Tweet Coleman seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Chairman Reisman asked when this will go to the City Commission. AM Dean said it will be on the January 25th agenda.
Airport Project Update
Box Storage Hangar Construction: AM Dean said the project is finished and is being closed out. There are two sets of box hangars with five units each. They are beautiful. A ribbon cutting was held on December 15th that was attended by the Mayor and many others. There is a YouTube video of the event if anyone is interested in seeing it.
Steve Tilford commended AM Dean and the airport for how well this project was managed. He has a nearby hangar and had no problems. The contractor did a great job. AM Dean thanked him but said the engineers and contractor were responsible for how well the project was managed both day to day and overall. They were both very good.
RW 13/31 Rehab: Wilbur Mathurin from Hoyle Tanner said the project is going well. It is still on schedule and budget and should be finished in April. The runway 13 end is currently being paved which will take about eight days and then they will move onto striping and seeding.
Brian Sapp from SunAir Aviation asked how the intersection will be handled. Wilbur Mathurin said they will have to shut down the runways for 24-36 hours while the intersection is paved. There is no other way to handle it. They are currently discussing this with contractor. The contractor will work on a continuous basis including during the night to get this section done as quickly as possible.
Chairman Reisman asked how much notice will be given prior to the shutdown. AM Dean said they will give as much as they can and are hoping to be able to provide two weeks notice. The contractor is setting up the schedule now. Brian Sapp asked if they know approximately when it will happen. Wilbur Mathurin said sometime in February.
US Customs and Border Protection Remodel: AM Dean said FDOT has approved amending the grant to add construction costs. She will be taking the grant, construction agreement and the construction oversight agreement to the City Commission on January 25th. Chairman Reisman asked for the project cost. AM Dean said the total cost for the project with design, construction, mobile office and some minor furnishings is about $637,000.00. Of that amount, FDOT will pay 80% and the airport will pay 20%. The cost for a mobile trailer for Customs to use during the construction period is included in the funding. Chairman Reisman asked how long it will take. AM Dean said the plan calls for about 3 months including set up for the mobile office. The temporary trailer will be located on the ramp in the Customs box.
Air Traffic Control Tower Equipment: AM Dean said she has received the grant amendment from FDOT to expand the scope of the equipment purchased for this project. The Zetron consoles have already been switched out for the new Liberty Star units. RVA has already received some of the additional equipment. Once everything is received they will schedule installation. The additional equipment does include an ATIS (automatic terminal information service).
Chairman Reisman said the tower staff sent out a survey for pilots. He suggested that everyone participate and complete it. Brian Sapp said he has forms available at SunAir for anyone who needs one.
Main Ramp Resurfacing: Jack Thompson from GAI Consultants said they have scheduled a meeting on February 4th for tenants who face the ramp. He noted that everyone will have down time and will be impacted by this project. They will not start until after April so it will not overlap the Runway 13/31 project. The work will move from west to east. The new tie downs will be completed in the first phase so they will be available to use during the other phases.
Chairman Reisman asked if it will be possible to show the plan to this Board. Jack Thompson suggested waiting until after the February 4th tenant meeting. He can bring it to the February Airport Advisory Board meeting.
Airport Manager Update
AM Dean said she had nothing else to report.
Chairman Reisman thanked AM Dean for trimming the palm trees at the entrance.
Brian Sapp said they are holding the “Second Annual Seaplane Splash-In” on January 24th.
Bo Wroten made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Byron Oldham and the meeting adjourned at 6:17pm.