Events

August 31, 2013

Mojave Air & Space Port wins FAA grant

At its sole August meeting, the directors of Mojave Air & Space Port accepted an FAA grant of about $200,000; approved the purchase of two new vehicles for the security department; approved establishing a deputy general manager position; and committed financial support to a September Society of Experimental Test Pilots meeting. General Manager Stuart Witt also discussed using reserves for capital expenses at MASP.

FAA grant

FAA has offered Mojave a grant of $189,720 to pay for a new vacuum-sweeper truck. Such grants must be accepted by the airport before the FAA will disperse the funds. The airport would spend $11,594; and the state will fund $9,486. The sweeper truck now in use is old and not as effective as the new sweeper will be. At least daily, the runways are swept to guard against Foreign Objects Damage. Taxiways are also swept as needed. The board approved accepting the grant, and awarding Mar-Co Equipment Co. $195,650 to purchase the equipment. Other bids of $218,074 and $229,085 were received.

Security vehicles

The security department now uses two vehicles which each have more than 100,000 miles and are in need of major repairs. Bids were obtained from Keefe and Sons, Mojave, and two other auto dealers. Ford has stopped making the appropriate pick-up, so Keefe offered a 2010 Ford Ranger and a 2012 Toyota Prerunner, at a price of about $48,300. Two Toyota dealers offered 2013 Tacoma Access Cab pickups. Airport policy is to utilize local vendors whenever possible, but in this case, the board accepted a lower bid from Sierra Toyota of Lancaster of $44,516.

Deputy general manager

CEO/General Manager Witt wished to modify the organization of the Mojave staff to add the position of deputy general manager. Witt pointed out the advantages of an enumerated deputy. The deputy will run the daily affairs of MASP and handle MASP contracts. This frees the general manager to spend more time on promotion and business development for the airport. Karina Drees joined the MASP staff in June of 2012, as Economic Development Director, and has been selected as the deputy general manager.

As staff positions are enumerated in the Administrative Code, the board had to approve an amendment. The compendious of the board discussion was that the general manager is of course free to organize the staff as he wishes, and the resolution was unanimously approved.

SETP meeting activities

The Society of Engineering Test Pilots symposium is Sept. 23 to 28, in Anaheim, Calif. The board has approved purchasing a table at the awards banquet at a contribution of $1,350. It has also agreed to participate in the Welcoming Reception with a contribution of $500. Mojave Air and Space Port will cosponsor a hospitality suite with the National Test Pilot School. Witt said that this will be a great networking opportunity to promote MASP in a pure marketing venue with potential flight test customers from around the world in attendance. This is budgeted at $5,000.

Capital improvements projects

Large projects at the airport are using some of the reserve funds built up over the past 10 years. At fiscal year end 2014, the conservative forecast is that reserves will be about $4.7 million, about $412,000 less than at the start of the year. The staff and board feel these are investments in the airport’s future well being. These are the major projects now underway, or just completed.

  • North side utilities. Water, electricity and fiber optics data cables have been brought to the north side of the airport at a cost of 41.55 million. There are a number of tenant test stands located there.
  • Pump house renovations. New pumps and a hydrant communications system re to be installed. The cost is estimated at $300,000.
  • Community events center. Existing building 137, the pool building, is being rehabilitated for use as a community events center, and possible other activities. This 23,000 sq ft building and its attached 8,900 sq ft space is being prepared for use in several months. The project is budgeted at about $1.4 million, and includes air conditioning, lighting, rest rooms and parking lot surfacing.



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