Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Harry Clever Field (KPHD), Ohio: Federal grant helping New Philadelphia airport

NEW PHILADELPHIA --  Federal grant dollars are helping the city cover costs of replacing the wind cone at Harry Clever Field and update the municipal airport’s master plan, which will identify its current condition and future needs.

Assistant City Service Director Amy Gilland said the city was awarded a $237,794 grant recently from the Federal Aviation Administration to go toward covering most of the cost of updating the master plan and replacing the wind cone, which indicates wind direction and speed.

The combined total cost for both items is $264,216. The FAA grant is covering 90 percent of the total cost of replacing the wind cone and updating the master plan. After figuring in the grant, local share is $26,422.

“The wind cone (replacement) is housekeeping,” City Service Director Jim Zucal said. “The (master plan) update is part of the business of having a small municipal airport. You’re looking over the whole airport and determining the future of the airport.”

Zucal said an updated master plan is required because council reclassified the runway from a B-I to a B-II classification in accordance with FAA guidelines. The runway is 3,951 feet, making it short of a mile. That meant a new Airport Layout Plan had to be created.

Gilland added that the updated master plan would be required for any future pavement or resurfacing.

“This has to be done prior to make sure runway safety areas are in compliance,” she said.

Harry Clever Field, named for its founder, was established in 1927 in a hayfield near the Historic Schoenbrunn Village on Delaware Drive.

During World War II, the airport had a civilian pilot training program under the sponsorship of Muskingum University. From 1953 to 1961, Lake Central Airlines operated out of Harry Clever Field and offered three flights daily to Columbus, one to Pittsburgh and one to Youngstown.

“It’s still a viable functioning part of our city, and it’s economically important to our city,” Zucal said. “And it’s important to our daily business and we’re committed to it.”

Source: http://www.timesreporter.com

Dutchess County Airport (KPOU), Poughkeepsie, New York: Details presented for new fixed base operator

WAPPINGER – It’s now official, Dutchess County Airport has a new fixed-base operator. County Executive Marcus Molinaro executed a contract with Flight Level Aviation (FLA) to help revitalize operations and wean the facility off taxpayer subsidies.

The airport, once a thriving hub for companies like IBM, has become under-utilized. Increases in the yearly operating deficit are covered by the county, to the tune of $300,000 in recent years. The new deal with FLA guarantees Dutchess a $100,000 initial investment and $200,000 in revenues annually.

Details were presented to the Airport Advisory Committee on Monday afternoon, at their quarterly meeting, which was attended by dozens of small plane pilots who are tenants at the airfield in Wappinger.

A fixed-base operator (FBO) is a commercial business granted the right to operate on the airport and provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangaring, tie-down and parking, aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, and other related functions.

Most of the existing staff will remain intact, including county employees and manager John Mouris. FLA will take over the fuel sales, maintenance, and occupy Hangar #9, until a new hangar can be built to modern standards.

The county has also obtained $2.9 million in funding to provide water and sewer infrastructure, which is crucial to attract new tenants and supply much-needed fire suppression capability. Solar panels are also being installed, which exceed the energy use of the airport, generating a surplus.

Molinaro acknowledged that the county airport is a controversial subject, with many residents questioning its value to the average household. He maintains that the airport is a vital engine for private sector economic development, and keeps its continued existence a high priority.

“The question for us has been how do we continue to move the county airport forward in a way that holds onto the benefits that you have participated in, how do we hold onto the county airport that is a benefit and resource to the community as a whole, but at the same time how do we use it to increase economic investment, economic benefit for the county, and in the end, how do we eliminate the taxpayer subsidy to the airport,” Molinaro said.

Consultant Steven Baldwin provided overview of the proposed five-year agreement, which can be extended to 40 years. He went over rates for fuel and space leasing, and spoke about FLA’s history running similar airports in Norwood, Massachusetts, Brunswick, Maine and Cape May, New Jersey.

FLA executives were not present for the meeting, but will be meeting with tenants soon. Specific details of the agreement will be made available online over the next few months, as they become finalized within the 2016 county budget in November.

Source: http://www.midhudsonnews.com

U.S. Airline Accident Rate Remained Near Record Low Last Year • Experts say recent high-profile crashes have prompted mistaken public perception of risk

The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 11, 2015 12:40 p.m. ET

The accident rate for U.S. airlines hovered near a record low in 2014, according to preliminary data released by federal crash investigators, even as aviation experts see a spate of foreign crashes leaving average fliers increasingly concerned about safety.

As U.S. passenger airlines racked up their fifth straight year without a fatal crash, last week the National Transportation Safety Board reported that the overall mishap rate for domestic carriers was one accident for roughly 300,000 departures, barely higher than the record low 250,000 figure the year before. By another measure, the latest data amounts to one accident per roughly 700,000 flight hours, or about half as frequently as during the late 1990s.

Commercial aviation in this country has become so safe that pilots routinely go through an entire career without ever experiencing engine trouble serious enough to result in an in-flight shutdown. In the extremely rare circumstance that an engine falters precisely during the moment of takeoff—the most critical moment of any flight—some jetliner models have automated systems able to compensate and safely make the plane climb with minimal input from the cockpit crew. Based on statistics, taxiing around crowded airports has become the most hazardous portion of flights in this country.

“We find ourselves with the kind of problem you want to have,” according to Peggy Gilligan, the Federal Aviation Administration’s top safety official. “Safety numbers are already so low that you must count close calls, accidents that didn’t happen” to target safety enhancements, she noted in the text of a speech to state aviation officials last Saturday in Washington.

Last year, a total 641 people died around the world in commercial aviation, and the rate of serious jet accidents hit a historic low, according to the International Air Transport Association, the leading global airline industry trade group.

But despite such dramatic gains, experts agree that recent crashes—including high-profile fatal events in fast-growing Asian markets—have prompted the mistaken public perception that airline travel may be more risky today than in recent years. Roughly 3.5 billion airline passengers are expected to fly world-wide this year on almost 40 million scheduled flights.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s chief executive, has said that “Asia certainly grabbed the headlines” recently, “and not in the way they would have wanted.” Earlier this year, Mr. Tyler said that unless one-of-a-kind events such as the mysterious 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are resolved, they will leave “a shadow over us for a while” and potentially erode public confidence in the industry.

Patrick Ky, Europe’s top safety regulator, has gone further. While “safety indicators have never been better,” the executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency believes general public perception of industry safety probably has never been worse. The reason, Mr. Ky said during an interview earlier this summer, “is that there were a couple of recent, very dramatic” events that grabbed the public’s attention, including Flight 370 and the suspected pilot suicide that brought down Germanwings Flight 9525 in March.

“One Germanwings is one too many, for sure,” Mr. Ky said. “The challenge that I put to our organization is to aim for zero accidents, which we will never reach.”

In the U.S., the preliminary NTSB data shows there was a roughly 15% increase in the number of fatal general aviation accidents in 2014, climbing to 253 from 222 a year earlier. In spite of government and industry efforts to reduce crashes involving private planes, there also was an uptick in the overall rate of all types of accidents involving such aircraft, measured against estimated flight hours nationwide.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.wsj.com

Frederick Municipal Airport (KFDK), Maryland: Airport Commission opposes Renn Farm rezoning

The Frederick Airport Commission will recommend that the city not rezone a development near the municipal airport for mixed use.

The Renn Farm development, which includes plans for 1,050 residences, will go before the Frederick Board of Aldermen at a workshop Wednesday.

The area is zoned light industrial, so changing the status paves the way for the development, which is encircled by the traffic pattern for runway 12-30.

Airport commissioner Dan Loftus said building houses around the airport would lead to noise complaints, which could jeopardize the future of the airport.

“It is going to encroach on this jewel that we will probably lose,” he said.

Commissioner Ted Gregory said the City Council in Santa Monica, California, is considering shutting down its airport because of noise complaints after houses were built around it.

“And we’re setting up the same thing right here,” he said.

Jackie Marsh, city planner, said the city will be able to add conditions to usage such as prohibiting development in the runway inner safety zone and requiring future house sales to include a notice about proximity to the airport.

Gregory moved to recommend that the city keep the zoning light industrial. If the zoning is changed, he said, developers ought to provide a map of the airport’s noise abatement zone in addition to the written alert to home-seekers. A sign with the map should also be posted at the development site, he said.

Commissioner Steve Southworth concurred, saying that people don’t tend to read settlements. A graphic would draw their attention.

Equipment storage

The airport will design a new building to house its snow removal equipment.

It will be in the grass lot by the Hughes Ford Road entrance.

The design will cost around $138,000, according to airport manager Rick Johnson. Frederick would have to shoulder 25 percent of the costs while the state would manage the rest.

Staff plan to design this year, he said, and construct it next year.

The old storage needed to be removed as part of a planned runway extension.

Original article can be found here: http://www.fredericknewspost.com