Meadow Lake Airport Association Board Meeting
MLAA General Building
13550 Piper Lane
Peyton, CO 80831
November 13, 2007, 6 PM
The monthly board meeting was an open meeting for MLAA membership to meet with CDOT & the FAA.
(CD’S OF RECORDED MEETING AVAILABLE ON REQUEST)
John Bauer, FAA Assistant Manager Denver Airports District Office – currently acting Manager
Mark Miller FAA Compliance Specialist and Project Manager
Travis Vallin, Director, CDOT Division of Aeronautics
Travis Vallin opened the meeting with an overview of how FAA & CDOT works with MLAA – MLAA is a unique airport in state of CO in terms of the membership – it has a much larger and more active group than other airports and because of the sizeable investment FAA & CDOT have made and they want to maintain an open dialogue with the members of MLAA and make themselves available to the membership to address questions and concerns.
FAA Reauthorization is currently being debated in Congress. Federal Government is currently in fiscal year 2008 – currently there are no funds available for AIP funds as there is no Federal bill and there won’t be anytime soon. . Impacts entitlements (MLA gets $150,000), discretionary grants, and state apportionment grants and state grant fund.
Safety Concerns: CDOT works with the FAA Runway Safety Team. CDOT does an in depth inspection of all airports every 3 years (inspects runways).
The FAA will ask the Runway Safety Team to come in and inspect Meadow Lake and give their recommendations before they proceed with the runway project. (Runway reconstruction project) The Runway Safety Team will alert the FAA on unsafe operations, example: road interaction with taxiways, openness of the airport, runway incursions and runway safety, setbacks. At Meadow Lake there are lot of pilots, planes and activity – standards need to be more restrictive and ascend to a higher standard of operation.
"Outside the fence" is owned by MLA association members and is the responsibility of MLA Association. CDOT and FAA are looking at issues on the "Inside of the Fence" Violations of safety standards outside the fence affect how FAA & CDOT look at funding inside the fence.
Concerns discussed were: Cars speeding up and down Cessna drive – Horses and other animals on the runway – cars on the runway – all contribute to safety issues on the airport. There is no enforcement mechanism in place – MLAA needs to enforce safety standards on the privately owned property so CDOT & FAA are comfortable with the situation to insure project funding.
Residential/thru the fence/homeowners with taxiway access – FAA recognizes the uniqueness of the ownership and taxiway access at Meadow Lake and will work with the current situation. There will have to be some kind of access control - fencing is a possibility – with defined number of access points. There is no plan at this time regarding how the openness of the airport will be handled.
Non Aeronautical uses of the airport: A large proportion of the existing hangars are being used for non aeronautical storage and businesses. Problems arise from non aeronautical usage - these are "Outside the fence" and are the responsibility of the Association and need to be controlled.
"Inside the Fence" (the runway, taxiways, etc.) this area will be used for Aviation use and the FAA will not allow non aeronautical uses "inside the fence" the land was purchased for and is needed for aviation use only.
It is possible to have available parcels of the undeveloped land released – the process is: The Fed’s will review requests on a case by case basis – if they release it - it has to be at the going rate for non aeronautical leases and all that revenue has to go back to the airport. The revenue from these released parcels has to go anything that the federal funds might be spent.
Travis suggested that the logical next step might be for MLAA TO SET UP A BUSINESS PLAN – to identify uses. How can we take this big parcel of land and generate revenue without jeopardizing long term future development? MLAA needs to become proactive in the development.
Possible to use private developer – that would be a long term lease, they would put the infrastructure in and develop the land. Another option would be to borrow the funds (State Infrastructure Bank) to develop the infrastructure.
Fed’s can’t control what happens on the privately owned portion of the airport but will ask that we do what we can to control non aeronautical uses. There is a Grant assurance that says: If the Feds give you money you will do everything within your control to maintain compatible land use around the facility.
Bylaw Changes: Because people on the outside of the fence controls the board that controls what goes on inside the fence MLAA needs to:
Provide assurances that as an association they are doing everything they can to provide continuity in leadership
What can we do to keep the c
Ask what we can do to maintain our relationship and communication with FAA & CDOT.
Show that we are trying to do what is best for the organization and the airport.
The closer this association (MLAA) can get to a standard airport board or airport authority will provide a stronger the working alliance with FAA & CDOT.
The next Grant will include one of the biggest strings ever written – they are actually going to change some of the special conditions and focus on some of the issues with accountability at Meadow Lake. The changes made is looked at as a very positive move but FAA’s Legal counsel aren’t satisfied with the changes made – what has been done (revising the Articles of Incorporation) is looked at as proactive and the FAA sees that MLAA is trying to make the changes that are needed.
The concern is how FAA sees the MLAA commitment and where the FAA stand if the board is dissolved. They need to know they are in a position to recover all of the land and money they have invested in Meadow Lake Airport if the board were to be dissolved. FAA stipulations will outline their comfort level (they will take all land back) – if Meadow Lake Board of Directors signs the grant they will have to live up to the obligation – If MLAA Board of Directors doesn’t sign they don’t get the money.
Based Aircraft: FAA came out with an Airport Entitlement Program that says the more based airports at that facility the more funds will be available to that facility. In order to collect that information they are asking for valid N# and if the plane had an Air Worthiness Certificate – it then is counted as a based aircraft. At Meadow Lake previous request for tail numbers has not produced the needed information and FAA & CDOT needs our help to provide a more accurate count. Travis reassured the attendees that the information is not released to any other department. Travis is asking that we try again to provide them with the based N#’s. The request form will be revised to reflect the privacy of the information and forwarded to Jack Dhooghe in a follow up attempt to get a more accurate count on based aircraft.
FAA & CDOT are going to work with MLAA Board of Directors toward the best possible solutions to develop the airport.