Monday, May 8, 2017

Condition of Menominee-Marinette Twin County Airport (KMNM) runways reviewed

STEPHENSON — An airport consultant has brought the condition of the Menominee County Airport runways to the attention of the county board.

Mike Borta, QoE Consulting, PLC, Airport Capital Improvement Consulting Agency of Lansing, presented the information at the April 25 county board meeting.

“QoE specializes in airports and looks to be a partner of the county’s development team,” he said. “We don’t come in and tell you what to do or what you need. Basically, you know your airport. We are hopefully an advisory role. You have questions, we have answers or can get the answers,.”

Borta said the consulting firm works closely with the state office of aeronautics and that its focus is on inland airports like Menominee County Airport.

“We have 15 to 20 airport plants around the state and we provide them services because we know as a committee, for instance, you are on the committee for a year and then things change around. When you are on a committee like that it’s hard to know what goes into a general aviation airport. That’s what we as QoE Consulting can provide some degree of continuity so that anyone who gets on the board can ask questions,” Borta said.

The airport committee is currently working with Explorer Solutions on ways to market the airport.

Board Chairman and airport committee member Charlie Meintz asked Borta if he has had success working with any other airports that used Explorer Solutions. Borta said there was only one other airport in the state that he knew of that had worked with Explorer Solutions.

Borta said, if hired by the county board/airport committee, that over the next couple of years, their focus would be on the rehab of runway 14/32. He said after driving on it, it’s in need of rehab as it is pretty aged, weathered, oxidized, and cracked. He said it is well-cared for, but does need maintenance and rehabilitation.

He said he was curious why it had a rating of 53 and 3/21 had a rating of 48. That is out of 100 points.

“The office of aeronautics says an airport like Menominee County should not fall below 60. So you’re kind of stretching it a little bit. This is more than normal and not the exception,” Borta said. “In driving and looking at the runway, I have some questions about those two ratings. Runway 3/21 overlay was done 12 to 15 years ago and it’s in reasonably good shape. I would agree with the airport capital improvement plan that runway 14/32 is the one that is in need.”

Borta added that the runway conditions could be better, but they are not that dangerous. The current Pavement Condition Index (PCI) was done in 2015. The next runway numbers are predicted to be 36 for 3/21 and 41 for 14/32.

He added the rehabilitation of this runway would cost in excess of $1 million.

Commissioner and Airport Committee Chairman Larry Schei said the committee has been dealing with many different people than those that Borta mentioned. He said there has not been good communication with the state office of aeronautics.

Since the airport does not have its sponsorship, they are told they can’t do any projects.

Asked by board members how QoE can help the airport, Borta said his firm does project-specific engineering consulting.

He said a consultant is selected for five years and may overlap their projects with other ones.

“We work with aeronautics every day to help maneuver our clients through bureaucracy,” he said.

Borta added a title search on properties is being done. He said this is so that the office of aeronautics is convinced the airport owns the land the airport is on. He said that Menominee County Airport would get its sponsorship.

The future of the airport is an agenda item for Tuesday’s county board meeting.

Original article can be found here:

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