Chair Jim Stringfellow called the meeting to order at 5:01 p.m.
Invocation: Mr. Joe Dunlap delivered the invocation.
Pledge of Allegiance: Chair Stringfellow led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Authority Members Present At Roll Call: C.B. Daniel, Joe Dunlap, Jim Gallagher, Jon Morris, Jim Stringfellow, and Kinnon Thomas were present. Mrs. Tubb arrived at 5:10 p.m.
Determination Of A Quorum: It was determined that a quorum was present.
Approval of Meeting Highlights for November 18, 2004
Mr. Thomas moved to approve the meeting highlights of November 18, 2004. Mr. Daniel seconded the motion. Motion passed. Adoption of the Agenda
Mr. Thomas moved approval of the agenda. Mr. Dunlap seconded the motion. Motion passed. Citizens’ Input – None
Airport Authority Input – Non-Agenda Items
Dr. Gallagher reported that funding for the SATSLab project will expire in 2005 and a source of further funding has not yet been identified. He indicated that work on the project will cease if funding is not available.
Mr. Stringfellow distributed proposed standing committee assignments and asked the Board members to review their assignments and provide comments. He indicated that Billy Brashear, an anticipated reappointment, would be assigned to the Finance & Operations Committee and that anticipated appointee Peter Johnson would be assigned to the Business Development & Marketing Committee.
Also, he reported that if a By-Laws Committee was needed, it would consist of Jim Gallagher, Jon Morris and Marilyn Tubb. He called for a volunteer to serve as the Air Show liaison.
Consent Agenda - None
Mr. Crider commended Mr. Tate Fisher for his work in updating the Airport Certification Manual; according to the FAA, GNV was the first airport in the Southeast to complete the update.
Mrs. Elaine Funk presented a new Northwest Airlines commercial which will begin airing in January 2005.
Mr. Crider reported that the State of Florida has made available grant funding for the construction of the Eclipse Aviation hangar.
Mr. Crider reported that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will perform at the Wings over the Heart of Florida Air Show scheduled to take place September 24-25, 2005 at Gainesville Regional Airport.
Mr. Crider reported that no proposals were received in response to RFP # 05-001, “To Provide Specialized Aviation Services at Gainesville Regional Airport”.
Mr. Crider reported that the R/W 11-29 Ditch Enclosure project is underway and is scheduled for completion by the end of January 2005.
Mr. Crider reported that the Alachua County Fairgrounds Workgroup is considering a position that is in opposition to the Plan East Gainesville proposal for the use of the Fairgrounds land as a Business / Industrial Park site.
Mr. Crider reported that permits have been obtained for the first Phase of the Airline Terminal Renovation project; construction is scheduled to be completed in the Spring of 2005.
Mr. Crider reported that November 2004 passenger volume is 38.5% higher than November 2003, and year-to-date traffic is 10.9% higher than last calendar year.
Mr. Crider reported that November 2004 fuel flowage is 41.93% higher than November 2003, and year-to-date volume is 13.04% higher than last calendar year.
Facilities & Planning Committee Report
Mr. Daniel reported that a quorum was not present when the Facilities & Planning Committee was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, December 8, however two members of the committee were present and were available to hear public comments regarding the proposed T-Hangar Agreement which was distributed to all T-Hangar tenants. A meeting of the Committee will be scheduled in early January.
Mr. Ben Morris, Attorney for the Authority, clarified the issue of quorums for committees. He stated that a quorum is not required in order to hold a committee meeting. However, recommendations determined by the members present at the meeting where there is less than a quorum could not be brought to the Board and presented as committee motions. He reported that the committee can meet without quorum and provide a report to the Board, and individual Board members could make recommendations.
Finance & Operations Committee Report
Dr. Gallagher reported that a meeting of the Finance & Operations Committee was held on December 14.
Dr. Gallagher reported that Mr. Crider provided the results of a Taxi Service Survey which was conducted from mid-August through mid-October. Dr. Gallagher reported that there were some instances when cabs were not available, but overall it appears that demands for service are being met. Dr. Gallagher reported that the City of Gainesville is evaluating a new fee structure for cabs; the City could conceptually collect a fee from every city-licensed cab, to include an airport fee on behalf of the Airport.
Dr. Gallagher reported that the FY2003 Audit is underway, with completion anticipated at the end of January 2005.
Dr. Gallagher reported that GACRAA's share of the Runway 11-29 Rehabilitation project will be approximately $280,000; he indicated that a new application to collect a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) will be initiated to fund this amount.
Dr. Gallagher reported that the five (5) rental car operators are in favor of building a consolidated service facility at the airport, however none were in favor of contributing to the cost of construction. The operators are in favor of collecting a Customer Facility Charge (CFC) from their customers.
Dr. Gallagher reported that Gator Aviation Services, LLC requested either an extension of ten (10) or five (5) years on the lease agreement, or an acceleration of the RFP process for the lease premises. The lease agreement between Gator Aviation Services, LLC and GACRAA expires at the end of May 2006. He stated that much discussion took place and that Gator Aviation Services, LLC was also willing to extend the lease by two (2) years.
Dr. Gallagher moved the committee motion to extend the lease agreement by two (2) years subject to the approval of the Attorney for the Authority. Mr. Daniel seconded the motion. Mr. Ben Morris, Attorney for the Authority, reported that his firm considered the issue and has determined that it is not advisable to extend the lease. He advised against issuing an RFP now for a new lease which would go into effect in June 2006. He advised against extending the current lease with Gator Aviation Services, LLC; he indicated that there may be legal problems with this course of action. Mr. Morris recalled that in adopting Resolution 04-021, a resolution authorizing extension, waiver of assignment provisions, and assignment of Aeroflite, Inc. lease and use agreement, which facilitated the execution of the lease agreement between GACRAA and Gator Aviation Services, LLC, the Board resolved to begin an RFP process prior to the May 31, 2006 expiration of the lease.
Mr. Jay Curtis, General Manager of University Air Center (UAC), indicated that UAC is interested in occupying the Gator Aviation Services, LLC site.
Lengthy discussion followed regarding the pros and cons of extending the lease and issuing an RFP which would encourage competition on the airfield.
Mr. Dunlap moved to table the committee motion and direct staff to work with the tenant and legal counsel to work out a compatible solution. Mr. Daniel seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Airport Industrial Park Land Sales – Trachtenberg Enterprises Group, Inc. – Resolution 05-006
Mr. Crider introduced Mr. Erik Bredfeldt, the City of Gainesville’s Economic Development Director.
Mr. Bredfeldt reported that on December 13, the Gainesville City Commission approved the sale of Lot # 3 in the Airport Industrial Park to Trachtenberg Enterprises Group, Inc. The selling price is $100,000 for the five (5) acre site. Trachtenberg Enterprises Group, Inc. is the parent company of Quartz Solutions, Inc. a manufacturer of countertops. He reported that Quartz Solutions, Inc. is currently located in Starke, FL and will move its operation to a 34,000 sq. ft. facility to be constructed in the Airport Industrial Park. With the move to the larger facility, the operation expects to grow employment from its current 16 employees to 35-40 employees. Mr. Bredfeldt reported that the market value of the land is between $30,000 and $35,000 per acre. The City will sell the land for $20,000 per acre and will reimburse the airport for the $10,000 - $15,000 acre difference by paying 50% of the ad valorem taxes to the airport for a ten (10) year period. Mr. Bredfeldt estimated that the annual amount paid to the airport will be approximately $10,000 - $13,000; the airport will also receive the proceeds of the sale, $100,000.
Mr. Daniel moved to adopt Resolution 05-006 concurring with the sale of Lot 3 within the Airport Industrial Park by the City of Gainesville for developing and improving the Gainesville Regional Airport; and providing an immediate effective date. Mrs. Tubb seconded the motion. A roll call vote followed: Mr. Dunlap – aye, Dr. Gallagher – aye, Dr. Morris – aye, Mr. Thomas – aye, Mrs. Tubb – aye, Mr. Daniel, aye and Mr. Stringfellow – aye. Motion passed 7-0. Winston & Strawn Update
Mr. John Waits, a Partner with Winston & Strawn LLP, the Airport’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C., provided an update on the firm’s activities. Mr. Waits reported that funding for the new airport access road was included in the House TEA21 reauthorization legislation, though a Conference Report never came to fruition. Mr. Waits reported that $1,000,000 was included in the 2005 House reauthorization bill, but that Congresswoman Corrine Brown would push for additional funding in the 2005 version. Mr. Waits reported that two additional funding items for the airport were included in House bills. The Omnibus Appropriation bill included $300,000 for an intermodal facility at Gainesville Regional Airport, and Mr. Waits reported that the House Transportation Appropriations bill included language to give Gainesville Regional Airport priority consideration by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will provide guidance to the FAA in providing AIP discretionary funds.
Mr. Waits reported that three other requests for funding were not addressed by the House in the 2005 budget; however funding will be pursued for 2006. Mr. Waits reported that there may be an opportunity to pursue $300,000 in HUD Economic Development Initiative funding for General Aviation facilities. In addition, funding to improve the Joint Aviation Unit facility was pursued from the Department of Justice Law Enforcement Technology program, however the City of Gainesville and Alachua County received funding for other projects from this program and the airport’s request was not fulfilled. Mr. Waits anticipates presenting this need in the form of a HUD EDI request in 2006. Mr. Waits reported that the third unfunded item was a request for $3,000,000 from the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education’s Job Training program for an Aviation Education Center. Mr. Waits stated that he hopes to pursue this request for funding with the assistance of Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Congressman Cliff Stearns. He indicated that Congresswoman Brown has expressed enthusiasm for this project.
Sabre Airline Solutions Update
Mr. Dan Gibbs, Sabre Airlines Solutions, the Airport’s air service development consultant, provided an update on the state of the aviation industry.
Mr. Gibbs reported that the industry lost $30 billion in the last three years and that tens of thousands of jobs have been eliminated. He reported that aircraft orders have cancelled or deferred. Two legacy carriers, United Airlines and US Airways, are in bankruptcy and former legacy carrier TWA has been absorbed by American Airlines. The legacy carriers are trying to lower operating costs, however the legacy carriers and low-cost carriers are all adversely affected by higher fuel costs.
Only Southwest Airlines has been consistently profitable and is the only carrier that is anticipated to be profitable in 2005. He stated that the low cost carriers have between 25%-30% of the domestic market and it is projected that their share will rise to 40% by the end of 2008.
Mr. Gibbs reported that the strategy of the legacy carriers is to put more emphasis on long haul routes and to deploy its regional partners on the short haul segment of the market.
Mr. Gibbs reported that his firm is working on a leakage study that shows that only 16% of area travelers to New York are using Gainesville Regional Airport. Sabre Airlines Solutions is planning to use this information in pursuit of GNV-New York service.
Mr. Crider reported that US Airways plans to begin a fourth jet flight between GNV and Charlotte in February.
Mr. Crider distributed copies of an article regarding improvements underway at ASA gates within the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Mr. Curtis, General Manager of University Air Center (UAC), reported that construction of the maintenance hangar is finished and that UAC is preparing for an inspection by the City for a Certificate of Occupancy. Landscaping will be completed on December 22. The anticipated completion date is January 8.
Ms. Carolyn Bomberger, President of Gator Aviation Services, LLC (GAS) reported that its application for certification as an air carrier is with the FAA, and that she anticipates the process being completed shortly.
Mr. Jeff Breeden, Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc. presented a review of the airport’s accomplishments in 2004:
Northwest Airlink began service to Memphis, TN
Continental Connection began service to Tampa and south Florida.
Phase 1 of Airline Terminal Renovation has begun.
Proposal to extend Runway 6-24 was approved by Board.
City and County Commissions concur to re-develop the County Fairgrounds as a business park.
Eclipse Aviation selected Gainesville Regional Airport for the site of its first service center.
Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc. hosted a holiday reception for GACRAA members and staff.
Airport Authority Attendance
No issues to report at this time.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned by the Chair at 6:45 p.m.
GACRAA Monthly Meeting
James L. Stringfellow, Sr., Chair Date