Montgomery/ Brown Pilots Alert

Montgomery/ Brown Pilots Alert

Montgomery/ Brown Pilots Alert
By Ron Cozad
April 14, 2005

Committee members ?shocked? at staff ineptitude and lack of candor ? unanimously vote to hold over Gibbs FBO lease 6 months to 1 year. Gibbs SR. Honored. Means and Griffith embarrassed. Future with SD airports in question

For those of you who attended Council Member Jim Madaffer?s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting at the City Admin Building on April 13th, you?re probably aware of our success in gaining the attention of Toni Atkins, Donna Frye, Ralph Inzunza, Jim Madaffer, Tony Young and Mike Zucchet regarding our opposition to the removal of Gibbs Flying Service from Montgomery Field. For those of you who missed the meeting, we regret that you missed this watershed event. We?re beginning to make progress.

But, now we must continue to keep up the pressure! Please write your Council Member and the Mayor supporting their decision to extend Gibbs Flying Service at Montgomery Field, and follow through on the many remaining issues that affect us all. Help bring about a change in leadership at the Airports and Real Estate Assets Department. You may want to consider addressing the wisdom of replacing Tracy Means and Will Griffith. Keep in mind that the Directors of the Airports and Real Estates Assets Departments are counting on your apathy and lack of action to proceed with their own user-fee raising agendas.

The Gibbs issue is symptomatic of pervasive mismanagement by Tracy Means and Will Griffith within the Airports and Real Estate Assets Departments. Here are some of the other issues, but this is, by no means, an all-inclusive list:

? Egregious inequities in the City?s leasing practices need to be addressed and reformed. Like Gibbs, Ivor and Deann Shier, operators of Corporate Helicopters of San Diego, were also victimized by the current administration. After being awarded the right to ?negotiate? the development of a helicopter facility on Lot 3, Tracy Means demanded ?negotiation fees? of $1,000 per month to be paid for more than a year while she imposed an endless array of irrational and frivolous demands. After two years of erratic ?negotiations,? Means announced the City would require, as part of their rent, such a large percentage of the Shier?s receipts that the company would fail. When the Shiers refused to allow Means to bleed their business to death, Means terminated the negotiations and invited the City to house its own contract helicopter on the property a loss of several thousand dollars per month in revenue to the City.

? The San Diego Flight Museum is another case study in managerial abuse- this time at Brown Field. The Museum is a non-profit community service organization operated by a volunteer board, including retired airline captain Reg Finch, It is dedicated to the preservation of vintage aircraft for public viewing and provides ?discovery flights? to school children. Despite the abundance of available land at Brown, the City has turned a deaf ear on the museum?s repeated requests over the past 25 years for land to conduct its activities. In stark contrast, the City has made hundreds of acres available for light industry and automobile wrecking yards. These are clear violations of Federal Grant Assurances and are already the subject of ongoing FAA investigations that may result in the loss of future federal funding for the airport system. To date, the Museum?s request of April 7 for FAA-sponsored mediation has gone unanswered. To make matters worse, the Museum has recently received a notice from its current landlord that it must move within the next 45 days or risk being forcefully evicted. Thus, time is of the essence.

? Overall, the Airport Master Plan must include provisions to assure the affordability of light aircraft flying, in particular flight instruction and flying club activities, at Montgomery Field. The Plan must show equitable allocation and development of airport space and resources for ALL segments of general aviation, ranging from bottom end singles to top line business jets.

? We question the razing the ?Spider?s Aircraft? facility at the southwest end of the airport and then replacing it with luxury hangars without the development of new facilities for light general aviation.

? Montgomery Field needs at least three FBO?s with 7-day fueling services, Part 145 FAA Certified Repair Stations, avionics shops and provisions for an equitable number of affordable long term storage facilities and tie downs for light aircraft. (Montgomery Field also needs at least two, 24 / 7 self-service refueling stations close to Taxiway H. Competition results in lower fuel prices.)

? The preparation of the Airport Master Plan must be truly opened to public input and revised to include a detailed breakdown of the City?s long-term intended revenue streams from tie downs, each class of hangar, fuel surcharges, basic lease hold rents, aviation service revenue taxes. We should insist on legitimate economic studies in support of any plan, with realistic projected cash flows studies.

? Montgomery Field should be renamed Gibbs Field, in honor of Bill Gibbs nearly seven decades of support of general aviation at the site. We need a ?full-court press? signature drive to take a petition to City Council. This would send an unambiguous signal to the Airports Department that this is our airport, not its burgeoning political empire.

NAT. AIR TRANSPORTATION ASSN. PRESIDENT TO HOLD MYF TOWN HALL

Jim Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association, the trade organization that represents the FBO community, is planning to visit San Diego in mid July and hold a “town hall” meeting regarding KMYF. We need to prepare for this meeting and urge all Montgomery Field users to attend and support it. We?ll keep you posted as to time / date / place when we receive further details from NATA.

AIRPORT GROUP FORMING

As you know, each person that jammed into the Council Chambers yesterday has strong feelings about the mismanagement the airport system has endured over the years. Incredibility, airport users have yet to organize into a force to be heard and dealt with. Those days are over. Within a week or two, we hope to announce the formation of such an airport users and business organization similar to those at Oceanside, Gillespie and Palomar. Please be on the lookout for notices and plan to volunteer, contribute and ATTEND PUBLIC MEETINGS to make sure our ox is not being gored while no one?s looking!

MONTGOMERY/ BROWN WEB PAGE AT WWW.SDAAC.ORG

Leaders of pilot groups on Gillespie, Palomar, Oceanside and Montgomeryformed the San Diego Area Aviation Council last year to serve as an umbrella organization and information repository. Rick Baker, President of the Palomar Assn. has generously donated his time and talents and has prepared an excellent web page with areas for postings and discussions. You can also register your email address to receive updates. Keep your eyes on this web page for the latest in user announcements and understand that the SDAAC and the new Montgomery/Brown groups will need your email address for use as a primary line of communication. Without such information sharing networks, we will be disorganized and politically irrelevant.

Please get involved by writing letters, contacting our friends and attending meetings! Please also take time to express support and encourage Council members like Madaffer, Inzunza, Atkins, Frye, Young and Zucchet for their willingness to listen to our issues and publicly acknowledge and take action against the lack of credibility demonstrated by the current airport administration.

Contact information is provided below.

Montgomery Field Pilots
Write Your Elected Officials, Register with the San Diego Area Aviation Council
and Express Your Concerns About the Airports Department (Don?t Let the Airports Director Bank on Your Apathy)

Mayor Dick Murphy
202 “C” Street, 11th floor
San Diego, CA 92101
Telephone: 619-236-6330
Fax: 619-236-7228

Councilman Scott Peters ? District 1
202 C Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6611
From North County (858)484-3808
Fax: (619) 236-6999
E-Mail:
ScottPeters@sandiego.gov

Council member Michael Zucchet – District 2
Deputy Mayor
202 C Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6622
Fax: (619) 236-6996
Email:
Mzucchet@sandiego.gov

Toni Atkins ? Council Member District 3
202 C Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6633
Fax: (619) 595-1481
Email: toniatkins@sandiego.gov

Council Member Tony Young ? District 4
202 C Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6644
Fax: (619) 236-7273
Email:
jfields@sandiego.gov

Councilman Brian Maienschein ? District 5
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6655
From North County:
(858) 673-5304
Fax: (619) 238-0915
E-Mail:
bmaienschein@sandiego.gov

Councilmember Donna Frye ? District 6
202 “C” Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6616
Fax: (619) 236-7329
E-mail: donnafrye@sandiego.gov

Councilmember Jim Madaffer? District 7
202 “C” Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6677
Fax: (619) 238-1360
E-mail: jmadaffer@sandiego.gov

Councilmember Ralph Inzunza ? District 8
202 “C” Street, MS #10A
San Diego, CA. 92101
Telephone: (619) 236-6688
Fax: (619) 231-7918
E-Mail:
rinzunza@sandiego.gov

Editor’s Note: Ron Cozad is an attorney who was awarded “airport Advocate of the Year” honors in 2004 for his work dealing with airport issues in southern California.

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