Local

May 15, 2013

Mojave Air & Space Port improvements continue

Actions by the Mojave ASP board continue to be directed at improvements in its physical facilities, pre-planning for an FAA grant, and how to handle the Plane Crazy Saturday event.

Plane Crazy Saturday is sponsored by the Mojave Transportation Museum and takes place each third Saturday of the month. Pilots are invited to fly in and the public can walk in at no charge for these events. They have been attracting a larger audience, including children, in the years since they were started. Recently there has been significant nationwide and worldwide aerospace attendance. Initially, the airport supported the event informally at no charge. Usually the tower was open for other purpose anyhow, but the large crowd on the apron has required that security personnel be assigned.

At the April 2 meeting, the museum requested that the airport continue making itself available at no charge, as the museum is a public entity.

Stuart Witt, airport CEO, explained that Mojave charges a minimum of $1,200 per day for use, to cover costs of such as the tower and security. However he suggested the museum be charged $1,200 per year, payable at $100 per month. Dr. Allen Peterson, director, noted that the sponsoring organization should be required to pay fees to cover costs incurred by the Airport District. Director JoAnn Painter noted concerns for public safety at these events.

The board agreed that these events are very beneficial to the airport. At the May 7 board meeting, Director Jimmy Balentine proposed that an ad hoc committee be appointed “to figure it out” and recommend action to the board. The committee was established and includes Balentine, airport staff Kevin Wojtkiewicz and Harold Green, and museum directors Bill Deaver and Heather Bennett.

 

FAA grant pre-engineering

The board approved a contract for engineering and design services for the extension of Taxiway B, at a cost not to exceed $44,406. It will be performed by EnerSource Engineering, Fawnskin, Calif. This would be reimbursed 90 percent when the FAA grant is received, probably in 2014. The airport policy is to have “shovel ready” projects ready for FAA grants when proposals are requested. This puts the airport in a preferred position to receive such grants.

 

Building 137 rehabilitation

Building 137 is being refurbished so it can become a community center venue. Completion is scheduled for September of this year. The budget is $1.5 million and JW Griffin, Ridgecrest, Calif., was given a $150,000 contract for heavy construction. This includes replacing beams and structural ties. The contract is an Indefinite Quantity, Fixed Price contract. In addition, Continuous Quality Industrial Electric, Canyon Country, Calif., has been given a $9,950 contract for dimmable fluorescent light fixtures. The building now has water connected; in-wall electrical conduit completed and lighting under installation.

 

PAPI runway lights

Precision Approach Path Indicator lights let the pilot know if the airplane is on the correct glide slope for landing. They were omitted in the recent refurbishment of Runway 4-22. The board voted $33,250 to install PAPI lights for that runway, and to provide isolation switches to allow each runways PAPI to be turned on/off. RP Development, Big Bear City, Calif., has been given the job. In response to a question from Director Peterson, the staff will investigate placing this switching ability in the control tower.

 

Administration building solar electricity

A solar cell power system was installed about two years ago, and has been saving the district about $325 per day.

The supplier, Greenvolts, went bankrupt last year. At the time, the district purchased the system and spare parts for $70,000. In the last high wind storm, the panels were stowed in the safety horizontal position, but the winds exceeded the 80 knot rating and several panels were damaged. Insurance will pay for most of the loss, and the system is back in operation.

 

Conference attendance

The board approved funds to permit two directors to attend aerospace conferences, as a promotional activity.

Director Dick Rutan will at the Society of Engineering Test Pilots European Symposium in Madrid, Spain, May 22 to 25. He will present an invited paper on the flight test program for the Voyager.

Witt had previously planned to attend that meeting, but cancelled when district funding for the Northside Project was required. Subsequently, funds to cover the $10,000 item have been identified.

The board also voted $2,200 for Balentine to attend the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference June 3-5 in Broomfield, Colo. Balentine attended the last conference, and said that it is very beneficial for insight into a very large potential market impacting many tenants. Peterson brought up the topic of identifying promotional activities as a line item in future budgets. Witt endorsed such a line item in future budgets, and will provide it.

 

Facility improvements

Several contracts were approved for improvements to the airport. JW Griffin was given $15,000 to remodel the bathroom at the T Hangers. It will include new fixtures, vanity, lights and wall and floor improvements. Emergency water line repairs were made by W. M. Lyles at a cost of about $32,600. A VOIP telephone system is being installed in the administration building. Cost is about $13,400.

 




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