Alva Review-Courier -

Engineering for next airport project approved

 

January 18, 2019

Marione Martin

Jeremy Weiland (standing) of Garver Engineering explains the next project being considered at the Alva Airport Commission meeting Monday.

Monday night the Alva Airport Commission approved plans to add more parking spaces for aircraft near the terminal building. This is the first of multiple phases in the project.

Jeremy Weiland and Caleb Coltrane of Garver Engineering attended the meeting to go over the engineering for the project and discuss how it might be split into as many as four phases depending on finances.

One of the financial unknowns is supplemental funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It's possible the Alva airport could apply for and receive extra funds from the FAA, but it isn't known how much might be available. If those funds come through, parts of the project could be done more quickly.

Based on expected funding from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), Weiland broke the projects into four phases. The first phase to the north of the terminal building gives three additional airplane tiedown parking spaces and some more aircraft maneuvering room. Total cost is projected to be $665,000.

The second phase adds area to the south of the terminal with three more tiedowns. With the OAC funding adding up, Weiland projects that phase to begin in 2023. Estimating an inflation rate of four percent, what would cost $606,000 now is projected to cost $709,000 in 2023.

The third phase would construct a taxiway (A-3) and a connector taxiway at a cost of $663,000 in 2027 ($485,000 in 2019 dollars).

The fourth phase removes old connector taxiways and generally cleans up the area for $776,000 in 2031 (current cost would be $485,000).

Coltrane talked to the board members about how to handle the financing of the projects. Breaking the project into several phases over a number of years causes a sizable cost due to inflation. If the project could be split into two phases, it would cost much less. The "soft costs" for administration and construction oversight could also be minimized.

If Alva is able to obtain supplemental funds from the FAA, the airport could do more than the first phase quickly. Coltrane suggested talking to the OAC about the high cost of spreading out the project to see if they would "get on board" and "kick in additional funding." He said the OAC might be willing to give Alva more money upfront which would then be "paid back" by future grants. However, help from the OAC would probably be four years down the road.

Weiland said, "Let's move forward with phase one." Then he said Alva could consider approaching the OAC or see if the city can come up with some funding to push the project forward and cut the number of phases.

Board member Paul Kinzie said the airport has been able to save some money in the past by obtaining a waiver from the FAA on the concrete mix. He asked if that could be worked out again. Weiland said the P501 mix specified by the FAA provides better expansion but if the contractor can't provide that mix, a waiver could be pursued.

Kinzie made a motion to accept the engineering report which will allow the airport to move ahead on the project. Kelly Parker seconded. The motion passed with Terry Turner abstaining.

Five Year Plan

As commission members discussed the five year capital improvement plan for the airport, Weiland said it had been updated to include the new project. He said to make the most of their funds the airport should start construction on the project in 2020 when they should have $597,000 available. This will also allow time to determine what money might be available from FAA supplemental grants which are usually announced around the beginning of October. This means delaying the bid opening until around April or May of 2020.

The board members voted unanimous approval of the five year plan.

Engineering Consultant Selection

The FAA requires that airports select an engineering consultant every five years. It's a way of assuring that airports are getting the most for their money (and FAA grants). City Business Manager Joe Don Dunham said this has not been done since he's been in Alva.

Dunham said a list of future project descriptions and requirements will be put together in a request for proposals. After advertising, the responses will be evaluated and brought to the commission for a vote. He projects the board could be making a choice around March to May of next year.

Dunham said that Garver will finish any work they've started such as the project just presented. So the airport could end up with two engineers working for them at the same time.

Paul Kinzie and Kelly Parker were appointed to the selection committee for the engineering firm.

Fuel Service Upcharge

Airport Manager Tyson Tucker presented information on his suggestion to add a surcharge for use of the 100 low leaded truck to refuel planes. Aircraft pilots have the choice of taxiing to the fuel pump or asking the attendant to drive the truck to their aircraft.

Tucker said the truck cost $1,386.59 in upkeep for the year, not counting tires, batteries, tune ups, etc. He said he'd estimate it costs the airport $1,250 a year to keep the truck going. A charge of 20 cents per gallon were added to the 100 LL pumped from the truck would bring in $2,000 per year at the current level of usage.

Tucker said the majority of pilots said they are in favor of the upcharge. Board members noted that there were no visitors in attendance to protest. The additional upcharge of 20 cents per gallon for using the 100 LL truck was approved.

Overnight Hangar Rates

Tucker had also asked the board to set rates for overnight hangar rental. The only established rates were for monthly rentals. He surveyed airports at Clinton, Weatherford, Perry and Woodward. Most base the rental on the size of the aircraft which determines the amount of space needed. And most place a monthly cap on the charges.

The board looked over the rates and approved what Tucker proposed. For most single engine airplanes, the rate will be $15 per night with a cap of $100. For cabin class or twin engine crafts, the rate is $25 per night with a cap of $175. The charge for helicopters, jets and large turbine aircraft is $40 per night with a cap of $250.

Manager's Report

All members were present for the meeting Monday with Chairman Dale Logsdon presiding.

Tucker reported fuel sales for December were about average for a total of $15,389.85.

The airport's new lighted windsock has been out of commission, a victim of the winds sweeping across the area. Tucker said the first time, a local welder came out and made repairs to the frame. This time, the assembly was sent back to BDS where it was purchased. BDS had to "beef it up" because of "the wind out here," said Tucker. They also concluded that the windsock, received free from the OAC, was too heavy and replaced it with one of theirs which will cost about $200.

The lights on the north end of the runway have been erratic. Tucker said an electrician inspected them and they could hear sizzling from the control boards. Parts are being obtained to fix the problem.

Regarding the problems found with the fuel system reported last month, Tucker said they're still waiting for Double Check to fix them. The company apparently has a lot of work scheduled and is "way behind."

Turf Runway

Kinzie asked what it would take to get the turf runway operational. Tucker said the airport didn't get enough rain to make the grass grow; instead they have weeds. The weeds have been sprayed a couple of times, and they've tried packing the soil after different rains "but it is still a little rough," he said.

Tucker said some farmers suggest using a harrow to drag and smooth the surface, but it would tear up some of the grass.

After some discussion, it was decided the harrow would be a good option. Logsdon said he had a drag harrow. It was decided the best time would be around the first of April and hopefully they can get some Bermuda grass to grow.

 

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