Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Quincy Regional Airport/Baldwin Field (KUIN) working to fix compliance issues with Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Aviation Administration seeks better management at Baldwin Field

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued warnings to the City of Quincy regarding multiple compliance issues with Quincy Regional Airport and an FAA administrator has recommended the City reach out to other certified airports to “better assess staffing and resource needs to enhance the operation.”

The discussion of hiring a full-time manager at Quincy Regional Airport will be one of the topics at this evening’s Aeronautics Committee meeting at 5:30 at City Hall, Room 209.

In a letter the FAA sent to the City in May, FAA Inspector Heather Monaghan-Manna said there were a dozen discrepancies dating back to inspections made in 2012 that the City has been working to fix.

“Leading up to the December 2012 inspection, the lack of adequate airport management oversight and sufficient resources was apparent,” the letter stated. “It was evident that there was a breakdown in communication between airport management and ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting) personnel.”

The violations were:
  • Airport not in compliance with approved Airport Certification Manual (ACM) and (ARFF) personnel were not aware of their responsibilities in the ACM.
  • The ACM was out of date and did not reflect actual operational practices.
  • All maintenance personnel had not completed training.
  • ARFF personnel charged with the inspection of physical fueling facilities and equipment had not received training in the handling and storage of hazardous materials and substances.
  • Numerous sign panels were faded and runway and taxiway markings were faded and lost reflective qualities.
  • Airport could not provide documentation that the dry chemical system on the ARFF vehicle was being maintained.
  • Training was not completed in each subject area at least once every 12 consecutive months for all personnel assigned to Engines 3 and 6 (core ARFF personnel).
  • All ARFF personnel had not participated in at least one live fire drill within the previous year.
  • Airport did not receive written confirmation once every twelve consecutive calendar months from the fueling agent of fire safety training.
  • Airport did not review the Airport Emergency Plan at least once every 12 calendar months. The last Airport Emergency Plan review was conducted in March 2011 and this was a repeat violation.
  • Airport did not review Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.
  • Fencing was not effectively preventing wildlife access to the airfield.

During this period, Jeff Steinkamp was the interim airport manager along with his duties as city engineer. Steinkamp was fired following Kyle Moore election as mayor.

The FAA official said the City has since been “cooperative and has shown a constructive attitude towards compliance by correcting a majority of the noted discrepancies” and the remaining items have been resolved.

“It is our expectation that UIN (Quincy Regional Airport) will maintain these structures, practices and oversight put in place,” the letter states. “It is also imperative that the certificate holder provide sufficient, qualified personnel, and ensure continuity of compliance requirements through transitional periods that result in staffing changes.”

“Leading up to the December 2012 inspection, the lack of adequate airport management oversight and sufficient resources was apparent...we caution the City of Quincy that inadequate staffing levels at the airport can create significant challenges and an inability to ensure compliance with the regulation.”

“For historical comparisons, UIN previously had a full-time dedicated airport manager. Today, this position is held by an individual that provides other shared duties to other functions within City Government. While not necessarily indicative of a problem, UIN is one of the few Part 139 airports in the Great Lakes Region that is not currently staffed with a full-time Airport Manager.”

Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore says these reasons in the letter and his further conversations with FAA officials lead him to believe the feds want the City to go back to having a full-time Airport Manager.

After the Aeronautics Committee gave Moore the authorization to hire an airport manager, he nominated Jarred Hester for the post last month. The City Council then tabled the action until it could be further reviewed by the Aeronautics Committee.

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