The Board Meeting of the Panama City-Bay County Airport and Industrial District was called to order at 9:00 a.m., June 30, 2021 by Chair Glen McDonald.
The Invocation was given by Vice Chair Holly Melzer.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chair McDonald.
The Executive Secretary called the roll and indicated all the Board members were present in person with the exception of Mr. James Johnson.
Chair McDonald asked if there were any Items on the Amended Agenda, including the Consent Agenda, that any Board member would like to move, and if not, to make a motion to accept the Amended Agenda.
Vice Chair Melzer made a motion to accept the Amended Agenda, and Mr. Del Lee seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Del Lee and Mr. Jay Tusa were recognized and presented with plaques in appreciation for their years of service to the Airport Authority. Mr. Lee served for eight years and held the title of Chairman. Mr. Tusa served five years.
Chair McDonald welcomed new Board Member Jason Cutshaw. Mr. Cutshaw was appointed as the Walton County Commission representative filling the one year remaining on Mr. Tusa’s term.
Employee Recognition – Chair McDonald presented Life Saving Awards to Sergeant Jose Marquez, Officer Jennifer Davis, Lt. Russell Fiser, Firefighter Kevin King, and Firefighter Zach Sellers. TSA Supervisor Veronica Ramos accepted the award for TSO Teresa Hemmes who was not present.
Partner Recognition – Chair McDonald recognized and congratulated Robinson Aviation, Inc.’s (RVA) Dwayne Carden for receiving the Air Traffic Controller of the Year Award.
Mr. Parker McClellan presented the Activity Reports. Mr. McClellan reported the passenger count for May 2021 was 52,000 over May 2019, our busiest year.
Mrs. Darlene Gordon presented the Financial Reports.
a. Board Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2021
This Item provided for Board approval of the May 19, 2021 Board Meeting Minutes.
b. Approve Policy Change – Paid Leave (this item moved to Business Items)
c. Accept FAA AIP Grant Offer for ARFF Vehicle
This Item provided for Board acceptance of an FAA Grant Offer for acquisition of a 1,500-gallon, Class 4, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle to be used in support of operations at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
This FAA Grant Offer represents one of the Airport’s FY21 requests for grant funds under the FAA Airport Improvement Program.
Under Federal Aviation Administration Airport Certification Regulations, the Airport is required to maintain an established level of aircraft firefighting capabilities based on the size and number of daily operations for commercial aircraft operating at the Airport. The Airport currently maintains two 1,500-gallon ARFF vehicles in support of airport operations. In accordance with FAA ARFF Equipment Replacement Policy this grant is for the acquisition of a 1,500-gallon ARFF vehicle to replace an existing 2006 vehicle, which has reached end-of-useful-life status.
This Grant acceptance for ARFF vehicle purchase are budget neutral and will not impact the Airport’s current, or proposed, Operating & Capital Budget. Total purchase cost for the ARFF vehicle is $717,557.
The Grant also includes costs for minor tools and equipment required to operate the vehicle at a cost of $4,037. Costs are reimbursable under this FAA Grant at 100 percent for eligible items. Total amount of the grant offer is $721,594. Staff recommended acceptance of this Grant Offer.
d. Ratification of Airfield Fiber Communications Line Repair – Powernet
This Item provided for Board ratification of an emergency repair purchase for the Airfield fiberoptic data communications line damaged by a private aircraft.
On March 28, 2021, a private aircraft, operating from the Sheltair ramp, struck an airport communications box while mistakenly taxiing on the Airport perimeter road rather than taxiway. The communications box contained a fiberoptic line which is essential to the Airport overall communications network and was severely damaged from the aircraft impact.
Taking into consideration the type and extent of damage to the communication line a decision was made to contact a vendor to complete emergency repairs as soon as possible to reestablish network communications in that area of the Airport.
Due to the essential nature of the airport communication network, it was necessary for the Executive Director to approve the fiberoptic communications line repair.
The emergency repair of the fiberoptic communications line was a budget neutral purchase and had no impact on the Airport Operating & Capital Budget as insurance funds were received from the aircraft owner to cover the complete repair.
Staff recommended ratification of the Executive Director’s authorization to Powernet for repair of the Airport’s fiberoptic communications network in an amount not to exceed $16,207.00.
e. Approve Telecommunications Agreement – AT&T Corporation
This Item provided for Board approval of an agreement for replacement and upgrade of the Airport’s telecommunications system to include phone handsets, controlling hardware, system setup, and internet service provider.
The Airport’s existing telecommunications system is currently over ten years old and was originally installed during the Terminal construction in 2010. The system is analog in basis and is now obsolete and cannot support updates or digital format.
Demand on the Airport’s current system has been overwhelming at times, causing system failures, dropped calls, and slow internet/Wi-Fi speeds. A new, up-to-date system, will support current digital telecommunications formats, allow for updated equipment to be installed in various facilities at the Airport, and allow for faster data speeds to be obtained.
Airport Staff obtained six (6) proposals for new telecommunications system and services. All were able to provide the required voice telephone services at nominal pricing. However, several of the proposers cannot provide internet service thus requiring a separate contract with AT&T to lease fiber for internet service. Review of the proposals indicates that AT&T, bundling both telecommunications services, as well as internet services, provides the most beneficial service to the Airport.
Staff recommended approval of a telecommunications service agreement with AT&T Corporation for
telephone and internet services for the Airport.
Costs associated with this contract are provided for in the Airport FY21 Operating & Capital Budget and will be included in subsequent operating and capital budgets. Initial monthly (24-month agreement) costs will be $1,784.10/month. The new monthly cost represents a $348.52 (24.28%) increase over current monthly payments. It should be noted; however, the new agreement includes an internet service increase from 50 MBps up/down to 150 MBps up/down. This increase is in response to significant increases in demand.
Mr. Will Cramer made a motion to accept the Consent Agenda, and Vice Chair Melzer seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
a. COVID-19 Update
Mr. McClellan addressed the Board and reported that the Taxi Queue fees would still be reduced through September, and then go back up to where they were prior to COVID-19. Mr. McClellan said that with COVID case numbers decreasing, he would not continue providing an Update for future Board Meetings unless circumstances change.
This Item was for informational purposes only and required no formal action by the Board.
b. Award Bid for Mitigation Implementation to Wildlands Service, Inc.
As part of the West Bay Sector Plan, the Airport committed to the long-term off-site mitigation consisting of the restoration of approximately 9,000 acres of property in close proximity of the Airport.
The initial mitigation commenced in 2008 through a 5‑year contract with St. Joe Timberlands Company. The scope of work included: Dumpsite Removal, Invasive Species Eradication, Roller-chop Applications, Gyro-Trac Applications, Prescribed Burning, Longleaf Pine Planting and Hydrological Restorations.
In 2013, Staff and ZHA reviewed the effectiveness and costs of the mitigation contract and scope of work and determined that several of the tasks could be eliminated, as the value towards the required mitigation efforts were either marginal or completed. A tighter and more effective scope of work was written and competitive bids were solicited. A 3‑year contract was awarded to Wildlands Fire Services for
$1,659,160 (approximately $553,000 per year). The scope of work included: Prescribed Burning, Longleaf Pine Planting and Hydrological Restorations. During the contract, strategic planning and management resulted in expedited progress and compliance through more frequent burning and increasing ground fuel through wiregrass planting resulting in maximized mitigation impact.
In 2016, Staff and ZHA again reviewed the effectiveness and cost of the mitigation contract and scope of work over the long term. The Base Bids scope of work was established to meet the minimum scope of work to maintain compliance with the requirements of the Mitigation Plan and Permit. The Add Alternates were identified to continue to accelerate mitigation activities based on available funding.
On September 13, 2016, one Bid was received from Wildlands Fire Services. A 3‑year contract was awarded to Wildlands Fire Services for $783,263 ($261,088 per year). The scope of work included: Prescribed Burning, Longleaf Pine Planting and Hydrological Restorations.
In October 2018, Bay County was hit by Hurricane Michael, which devastated vast areas of Bay County. The hurricane created significant damage to the mitigation area. ZHA, ERC and Wildlands worked diligently to identify the extent of the damage and quantify the costs to remediate the area back to the mitigation status prior to the hurricane. The evaluation identified the hurricane set back the efforts to get to long term mitigation as required by the permit by approximately 6 years and at a cost of more than
$5 million. A change order in the amount of $195,757.50 was issued to Wildlands to extend their contract by one year to continue the mitigation until additional funds were identified to pay for the damage restoration and allow the market to cool down from the cost increases associated with the extremely tight labor market.
In March, bid documents were prepared to solicit mitigation activities for one year, while additional funding was being pursued. The Base Bid was designed to include prescribed burning equivalent to the funds available through a multi-year FAA grant. The total grant amount was $143,676, which was comprised of 90% FAA grant and 10% ECP match. Add Alternates were identified to allow expanded mitigation activities contingent on additional funding. The Add Alternates included unit pricing for additional prescribed burning, which was the most important activity to maintain compliance with the Permit, and ancillary activities that may be required to support the prescribed burns.
On May 7, 2020, one Bid was received by Wildlands Fire Services. The Base Bid for prescribed burning of 2,415 acres was $144,800. The unit costs of the prescribed burning were the same as the previous contract with Wildlands. The unit costs of the Add Alternates were in line with, and in a few cases less than, previous unit prices, and the Board approved the Mitigation Construction Bid be awarded to Wildlands Fire Services, Inc.
On April 29, 2021, an “Invitation to Bid” was publicly advertised. On May 18, 2021, one Bid was received from Wildlands Service, Inc. (formerly Wildlands Fire Services, Inc.). It should be noted that the bid was received after the prescribed time, but the same day. The Base Bid scope of work and costs included prescribed burning:
2,309 acres in year 1 $168,557
2,498 acres in year 2 $182,354
2,490 acres in year 3 $181,770
Total 3 years $532,681
The contract will begin October 1, 2021 and conclude September 30, 2024, with the option for 2 additional years and/or the inclusion of Additive Alternates. The acres and cost of the optional years 4 and 5 are 2,403 acres — $180,225 and 2,407 acres — $180,525, respectively. Additive Alternate Bids were received for additional services.
All the Additive Alternates have bid costs defined by specific work or volume of work performed. The addition of any of the Additive Alternates will be dependent on available funding and will be accepted based on the best use of the available funds to further the goal to reach permit-defined Long-Term Maintenance status. Staff recommends awarding the contract to Wildlands Service, Inc. for the Base Bid of $532,681 and future addition of optional prescribed burning years and Additive Alternates, subject to available funding.
This mitigation work will be 90% funded by a multi-year FAA grant and 10% District funding. The FY21 Budget includes funds for this fiscal year and future Budgets will include necessary amounts.
Board approval of Staff’s recommendation to approve the Mitigation Implementation Contract and Add Alternates to Wildlands Service, Inc. and authorize Staff to utilize the Add Alternates, if funding is available, to maximize the effectiveness of the mitigation effort.
Mr. Del Lee made a motion to award the Bid for Mitigation Implementation to Wildlands Service, Inc., and Mr. Cramer seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
c. Award Bid for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Vehicle Purchase – Rosenbauer Minnesota, LLC
This Item provided for Board approval for the acquisition of a 1,500-gallon, Class 4, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle to be used in support of operations at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport.
Under Federal Aviation Administration Airport Certification Regulations, the Airport is required to maintain an established level of aircraft firefighting capabilities based on the size and number of daily operations for commercial aircraft operating at the Airport. The Airport currently maintains two 1,500-gallon ARFF vehicles in support of airport operations. In accordance with FAA ARFF Equipment Replacement Policy this purchase is for the acquisition of a 1,500-gallon ARFF vehicle to replace an existing 2006 vehicle which has reached end-of-useful-life status.
An “Invitation to Bid” for a “1,500-Gallon ARFF Vehicle” was publicly advertised with a Bid opening on May 11, 2021. Two responsive bids were received at bid opening time of 2:00 p.m.
o Base Bid (Truck) — $691,667
o Foam Testing System — $19,687
Total Bid — $711,354
o Base Bid (Truck) — $689,820
o Foam Testing System — $6,900
Total Bid — $696,720
In accordance with FAA Grant provisions additional equipment options were added to the low bidder in an amount of $20,837 increasing the total ARFF vehicle acquisition price to $717,557.
This purchase has no impact on the Airport’s Airport Operating & Capital Budget as 100 percent of the cost of this ARFF vehicle purchase is reimbursable under a Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program grant accepted by the Airport Board on June 30, 2021.
Staff recommended Board accept the low responsive bid from Rosenbauer Minnesota, LLC for a 1,500-Gallon ARFF Vehicle with Foam Testing System in amount of $717,557.
Mr. Will Cramer made a motion to award the Bid for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Vehicle Purchase to Rosenbauer Minnesota, LLC and Mayor Mark Sheldon seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
d. Approval of Replacement Escalator Step Chains – Schindler Elevator Corporation
This Item provided for Board approval of a Sole-Source purchase for replacement parts and installation of three escalator step chains located in the Terminal Building at the Airport.
The Airport owns and operates three Schindler escalators. These three escalators have been in continuous service in the Terminal Building since 2010. The Airport is procuring a manufacturer-recommended replacement/overhaul of the step chains associated with each of the escalators. Only Schindler replacement stair chains may be installed on existing Schindler escalators at the Airport so as to continue and maintain manufacturer warranty on the escalators. Overhaul work and labor must be performed by manufacturer-approved personnel.
In accordance with State of Florida statute, a notice of intended Sole-Source purchase was publicly posted twice to determine if any other vendors were available to perform the replacement/overhaul services. No responses or comments were received.
This purchase is a line-item budgeted capital project provided for in the Airport FY21 Operating & Capital Budget and is included in the Airport’s 2021 FDOT Public Transportation Grant Agreement (PTGA). Costs for this replacement/overhaul project are reimbursable under the PTGA at a 50/50 ratio.
Staff recommended approval of the Sole-Source purchase from Schindler Elevator Corporation for replacement of escalator step chains in an amount not to exceed $148,890.
Vice Chair Melzer made a motion to approve the Replacement Escalator Step Chains by Schindler Elevator Corporation and Mr. Cramer seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
e. Approve Lease Amendment 1 – Menzies Aviation
On January 1, 2019, Menzies entered into a lease agreement for one cargo bay at the Airport Cargo
Building. Since that time, increased operations have driven a request from Menzies to add a second, currently available, cargo bay to their existing lease agreement.
Airport Staff has received a request from Menzies Aviation to modify their lease to add a second cargo bay and develop Amendment 1. Amendment 1 includes:
• Addition of a second cargo bay to the lease.
• Updated “Exhibit A” of the leased premises.
• Updated Lease Rate for the leased premises.
The net financial impact of the lease amendment will be an increase in lease revenue estimated to be $918.00/month.
The fiscal impact of Amendment 1 will be an increase in rental revenue of 918.00/month and will continue throughout the term of the lease unless further amended.
Staff recommended that Amendment 1 to Menzies Lease be approved.
Mayor Sheldon made a motion to approve Lease Amendment 1 with Menzies Aviation and Vice Chair Melzer seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
f. Ratification of CHA Extra Work Authorization – Additional Wind Analysis
This Item provided for Board ratification of the Executive Director’s approval to proceed with the CHA Extra Work Authorization for Additional Wind Analysis.
As part of the Master Plan process, evaluation of the wind data is required. The analysis was performed in accordance with FAA procedures. The results were supportive of the crosswind runway at a shorter length than recommended in the current Master Plan as well as what is recommended in the Master Plan under development.
During the public comment phase of the planning process, the evaluation was questioned and the FAA met with staff on several occasions to discuss the process and how to validate the data and the analysis. It was determined the FAA would provide additional wind and operational data for times that the Air Traffic Control Tower is closed.
In order to keep our Master Planning effort moving forward, it was determined by Staff and the Chair that it was in the Airport’s best interest to approve this authorization for additional work, prior to the Board Meeting.
The cost of this effort is not to exceed $20,100. The CHA – Additional Work Request – Wind Analysis will be funded through the Airport’s FY21 Budget. Additionally, Staff will request FAA participation in funding this Additional Work Authorization.
Staff recommended the Board ratify the Executive Director’s prior approval of this work request.
Mayor Sheldon made a motion to ratify the CHA Extra Work Authorization for Additional Wind Analysis and Mr. Cramer seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
g. Approve Policy Change – Paid Leave (this item was moved from Consent Agenda)
This Item provided for Board approval of a policy change regarding Paid Leave Policy 9.1.
The current Policy 9.1 – Paid Leave was last updated and approved by the Board effective March 1, 2015. The current policy requires updating to comply with current practice, align with local jurisdictions, delete language that no longer applies, and to clarify certain procedures.
Staff has updated Policy 9.1 in several areas that include compliance & procedural updates as follows:
Formalizing the current procedure that requires all official leave documentation to be held by the Finance and Administration Department; enhancing language related to accounting for leave time used; outlining responsibilities and definitions; enhancing language on when holidays will be observed; clarifying employee eligibility and leave accrual and usage language; enhancing supervisory responsibility for tracking time; increasing sick hours payable at retirement/termination to employees 65 and older;
clarifying minimum leave time used; and adding new sections for Administrative Leave and Leave Without Pay.
Staff also conducted research to ensure our policies are in line with the local jurisdictions to ensure we
remain competitive and an attractive employer to our current and future employees, but also remaining fiscally conservative in benefit options. Included in this policy revision is the addition of two holidays – Presidents’ Day and a Personal Day. For comparative purposes, Panama City Beach offers 13 paid holidays, Bay County offers 12 paid holidays, and Panama City offers 11 paid holidays. The addition of two holidays to the Airport’s leave policy will increase our number of paid holidays offered from 10 to 12.
There is sufficient funding within the FY21 Airport Operating & Capital Budget to absorb the estimated impact of $5,600, and future costs will be included in subsequent Budgets. The financial impact is associated with our First Responders that are required to staff the facilities 24⁄7.
Vice Chair Melzer questioned time off requests during high volume holidays for the Airport, and it was explained there is flexibility in schedules, coordinated coverage, holiday pay, and knowledge of job requirements and job expectations.
Staff recommended the Board approve the update to Policy 9.1 – Paid Leave.
Vice Chair Melzer made a motion to approve policy change regarding Paid Leave Policy 9.1 and Mr. Lee seconded the motion. The vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.
Construction Update (information only):
a. Airport Entrance Roundabout and State Road (SR) 388 Realignment
Mr. McConnell reported the SR 388/Airport Entrance Roundabout is proceeding on schedule, on budget, and they continue to work on the diversion that should start sometime in August. Mr. McConnell reported we should have the Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) sometime in July and they are developing a public awareness program for the change in the traffic pattern. He said once that is put in place, they will be free to being work on the Roundabout. He said the problems with the pylons has been remedied, and bridge construction has begun. Mr. McConnell added that the project is still set to finish up in early/mid-2023.
b. Aircraft Parking Apron Expansion
Mr. Richard McConnell reported the concrete is nearly finished for the Aircraft Parking Apron Expansion Phase 1 Project stating it should be completed as soon as weather permits. He said it is on schedule and on budget, and the Airport has implemented an Aircraft Overflow Program here at the Terminal that allows us to utilize that Apron for air carrier aircraft waiting for Gate assignments.
Bay EDA Update:
Bay EDA President Ms. Becca Hardin reported that like the Airport, they have seen a dramatic uptick in prospect activity. She reported that one of the MRO companies that Chair McDonald, Mr. McClellan and she met with at the MRO Show, Project Ace, will be visiting. The company would need to build a hangar next to the Runway, provide 200 jobs, and have $45 million capital investment; in addition to an engine test cell, for another large capital investment.
Ms. Hardin reported that another MRO company, Project Tiger, visited twice and is looking to build a smaller hangar and have been shown the north site adjacent to the Runway. They would provide 50 jobs, $10 million in capital investment, does a lot of MRO work with general aviation, and would benefit from Sheltair’s expansion and growth.
Ms. Hardin reported aviation-related Project Space, a large project sent to them by their State partner Enterprise Florida, would also need to be by the Runway, provide 249 jobs and $55 million capital investment, and the hope is that they come visit as well.
Ms. Hardin reported another MRO company needing a hangar here at the Airport, Project Crypto, came to us from the Orlando MRO Show, had the CEO visit two weeks ago, would provide 150 jobs, $30 million capital investment, and is currently going through the Bay EDA financial vetting process.
Ms. Hardin reported that another prospect, Project Eden went through the Bay EDA extensive financial vetting process, but their financials weren’t strong enough to take that project further.
Ms. Hardin reported that Project Jane, a medical manufacturing campus that came to us from Enterprise Florida, is looking for a green field site at Venture Crossings, would need three separate buildings, and would provide 550 jobs and $400 million capital investment.
Ms. Hardin reported on an advanced manufacturing company, Project Lightning Strike, saying that Board Member Will Cramer met with the CEO, and the company is in negotiations with GKN at Venture Crossings to lease the building. They would provide 220 jobs and $45 million capital investment.
Ms. Hardin added that with Europe opening up since the pandemic started, tickets have been booked to travel to the next MRO Show in October in Amsterdam. She said talks have still been happening with the aviation-related company Project Venus, a European MRO prospect needing the Runway that would provide 250 jobs but has been unable to travel here since the pandemic. She said that with Europe opening up, they are hoping they can come visit soon because they are still very interested.
She finished by informing the Board that the two biggest questions that are asked by prospects, are not about the price of the property, or the incentives, but rather: 1) can you fill our workforce need? and 2) will housing be available? She said that once projects are finalized, a collaborative private/public partnership effort will be needed to satisfy those needs.
The Moore Agency Update:
Katie Spillman of The Moore Agency shared a brief update on the ECP Ready Campaign, May media highlights, the ECP Enhanced Campaign Update, influencer engagement, and the new ECP Original Photography shoot.
Ms. Spillman shared a video of one of the destination-specific social media digital video clips that will run through the summer, accompany Facebook copy, and a call to action that drives folks to our website.
Ms. Spillman reported American Airlines’ inaugural Philadelphia flight in early May caught a lot of
media attention with its water cannon salute, TV interviews with Mr. McClellan and with passengers, and said that over 450,000 media impressions were garnered just from that story.
Ms. Spillman reported that Mr. McClellan was interviewed on the radio program Don and Veronica Live; the Simple Flying article named ECP among the top four U.S. Airports having the most capacity growth since the pandemic began; and the approved Enhanced Campaign selection was being finalized.
Ms. Spillman described an employee of The Moore Agency’s quick response to seeing social media macro influencer Mallory Ervin’s inquiry regarding ground transportation here at ECP. The employee, a follower of Mrs. Ervin, alerted her employer and Ms. Spillman in turn shared the resulting positive engagement with Mr. McClellan and Paul from Hertz upon arrival here from Nashville. Ms. Spillman reported that Mrs. Ervin, who has 744,000 followers, shared how thrilled she was with her great experience, and Ms. Spillman shared Mrs. Ervin’s Instagram Story, worth a value equivalent to $6,000 –
Ms. Spillman finished her report by offering up photos from a recent Airport photography session taken for social media and our website, for any Board members looking for a fresh Airport photo.
Executive Director Report:
Mr. McClellan addressed the Board by reporting the Airport-Airline Agreement is now with the Airlines for review, and explained that it is a 3‑year agreement with options to extend, as opposed to a 5‑year agreement which the airlines were not comfortable with, and that it is very similar to the current agreement.
Mr. McClellan reported several RFQs will be coming out soon, one for Advertising in the Terminal, and one for Marketing. He said Staff is working on the Budget that will be discussed at the Board Budget Workshop on September 1; and that next month’s Board Meeting will be followed by the state-mandated 4‑hour Ethics Training.
There were no Public Comments.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:14 a.m.
Kathy Gilmore, Executive Assistant James Johnson, Acting Chair