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Council discusses airport hanger storage revisions

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:45 am

The fate of airport hangar storage was discussed March 19 during a city council workshop. Revisions to the revised rules and regulations for the Glendale Municipal Airport, 6801 N. Glen Harbor Blvd., had been recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). There had been previous arguments as to what was allowed to be stored inside airport hangars at the airpark. Air hangar renters felt they should be allowed to store what they wished in the space they rented. Cathy Colbath, interim director of transportation services, presented the item to council.

Two governing documents are currently used to convey city and FAA expectations to ensure a safe and efficient airport facility. They are the “Rules and Regulations” and the “Minimum Operating Standards.” The rules and regulations regulates activities at the airport. The operating standards establishes a standard for businesses located at the airport.

Colbath discussed the current revision process the airport is undergoing.

She said the FAA has recommended the rules amendment to disallow users to create grant assurance violation conditions, approved by council in 2011. Colbath said a stakeholder group was formed in April 2012, and since then has held 31 meetings. Colbath said then draft revisions were provided to interested participants for additional public comment. Public was contacted via email, posts on the airport’s website, and presentation at the Aviation Advisory Committee. The committee then reviewed and considered all the comments received.

Colbath pointed out the main points of the new drafts of regulations:

· Definitions were expanded and kept in rules for reference in both documents.

· Obsolete, redundant, or non-applicable wording was removed or modified in both documents.

· Allowable hanger storage items were specified in the rules, a duplication of a 2011 memo sent to all airport tenants.

· Standards for commercial activities were modified to reflect conditions of existing tenant businesses.

Mayor Jerry Weiers has a vested interest in the matter, as he is a pilot and rents a hanger out at the airpark.

“There isn’t anyone closer to this than me,” he said. “A lot of people who own hangers and aircraft out there feel as though their property rights were stepped on.”

Weiers said he had met with the airport manager and he believed it would be a little while before negotiations between the city and the airport were complete. City staff told council and the mayor that it would be several months before the item would be ready for their approval and vote.

With previous revisions made to the rules stating what airport hanger owners were allowed to store in the hangers, many felt they should be allowed to choose what they could store in their own private rented hangers.

When asked what was allowed to be stored in hangers, Colbath told council that following revisions, only plane and flying related material and equipment is currently allowed to be stored in hanger space.

Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack pointed out that if the city was not in compliance with FAA standards, that they could lose their federal funding. Colbath agreed with Knaack’s statement.

The city released the following statement in regard to the airport use and FAA standards last week:

“At this time, our plan is to keep Glendale Municipal Airport open and operational during the FAA sequestration period. The city is determining the impact and exploring various options in an effort to best manage the airport during this situation. The decision will be a coordinated effort and discussed with Luke, airport users, and the FAA. The focus will continue to be on public safety.

"In the meantime, pilots may operate their aircraft using the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), which is standard protocol utilized after hours at the Airport. This procedure enables pilots to communicate with each other upon take-offs, landings, and in the traffic pattern. The Airport Manager will continue monitoring the situation and obtain feedback from pilots, Luke officials, and FAA ATC staff while these procedures are in use.”

The item will require formal council adoption at a future voting meeting. The presentation made during the workshop provided an opportunity for staff to provide information and answer questions of councilmembers. Following the presentation, council questioned staff about the recommended revisions and the status of hangar inspections at the airport.

Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack and other councilmembers encouraged the public to go out and visit the airport, or have lunch and support the local business.

For more information on the Glendale Municipal Airport, call 623-930-2188.

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