Alva Regional Airport to upgrade system for fuel charges at pump

Alva Airport Commission members say they generally get positive feedback about the Alva Regional Airport. However, they do hear complaints about the fueling system. The self-serve system pilots can use to pay for fuel frequently malfunctions. The card reader has to communicate with the office, and that’s currently done by internet service. The airport is in an area with marginal internet so the signal is lost, and the card reader is erratic.

Monday night commission members looked at a proposal for an upgrade to the FuelMaster system that would convert it to use a cellphone-type signal. This would not require replacement of the entire pedestal but just the head. Airport Manager Derrick Courson said the Syntech representative told him the airport could order the equipment needed and later, if they change their minds, could say they don’t want it.

The upgrade would use the same receipt system but would require new software. A subscription at an annual cost of $1,400 with FMLive would cover the cellular signal system. Including the first year subscription, the total cost would be $12,654. This does not cover installation, which Courson estimates will be less than $2,500.

Mayor Kelly Parker said the amount budgeted for property maintenance is $45,000 for the year so the airport has the funds. Paul Kinzie pointed out the airport already pays a subscription on the current fueling system. That would be canceled to offset the cost of the new subscription. Currently the airport pays $1,200 per year so the cellular system would cost only $200 more annually.

Parker made a motion, seconded by Kinzie, to place an order for the equipment needed for the upgrade, and the motion passed unanimously.

Commission members present were Chairman Dale Logsdon, Terry Cline, Kinzie and Parker. Calleb Mosburg was absent.

City Council Report

Mayor Parker said the city is getting into budget preparation time with forms sent to department heads. On the search for a city business manager, he said, “I anticipate having a final contract to consider at the February council meeting.”

Sales tax collections are up, said Parker, and the city anticipates having the airport “loan” repaid by June 30.

The airport will probably need to have another budget amendment because revenue from fuel sales is already at $135,000, and the amount in the airport budget for the year is $150,000. Fuel costs in the budget are $250,000 and the airport has already surpassed that by about $74,000, but with increased fuel sales that is to be expected. The airport has also spent more on professional services than anticipated because of adding the runway light project with added engineering costs.

Airport Manager

Despite the lack of runway lights making night landings unsafe, Courson said the airport had another good month of fuel sales. In January, 2,324.2 gallons of 100LL was sold for $10,904.24. The airport sold 5,875 gallons of Jet-A fuel for $26,710.25. With oil sales added, January sales totaled $38,013.26. That’s above January 2022 when sales were $33,841.50. Although there was some increase in gallons sold, inflation of gas prices accounted for much of the difference between the two years.

Courson reported finding a third crack in the runway concrete. He said this one covers seven panels and probably will need to be sealed.

The bid has been approved for upgrading the AWOS system, which provides current weather reports to pilots. The project has now gone to the contractors. Courson said the system doesn’t give present weather so pilots are using weather from Enid to determine wind speed.

Courson discussed mechanical issues with both fuel trucks. The avgas truck is having problems with the starter although a new one was installed in December. Now the brakes and radiator are leaking. The Jet-A truck has a transmission fluid leak.

In trying to get water to the new hangar, Courson said the plumber had some questions about the location of water lines and easements. Logsdon, Kinzie and Cline all had information about water line locations, but there is no map showing the water lines. Courson said the fire chief wants the airport to designate an easement for lines.

Before the meeting closed, Kinzie suggested Courson keep his eyes open for used fuel trucks due to the age of those at the airport. Logsdon said the fuel tanks, hoses, etc., can be removed and put on a newer truck chassis.

 

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