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November 2017 General Mtg. Minutes

Western North Carolina Pilots Association

General Membership Meeting

Lacy Griffin Building

Asheville Regional Airport

21 November 2017

 

Prior to the call to order, Arnie Andresen made an announcement that the Educational Foundation will raffle off the book, “Mr. Piper and his Cubs” with the proceeds going to the Educational Foundation.  Tickets are $5.00 each and the drawing will be held at the Christmas Dinner.   

I.  Call to Order by President Tim Anderson at 6:50 PM.  

 

Tim acknowledged and welcomed guests Dominic Scott from Tryon and Bill Pendergrass, who is a long time friend of the Association, although not a member.

 

Secretary: (Tim Fox) A motion to approve the minutes of the October general membership meeting was made by Dave Bolser and seconded by Fred Cassel and were approved unanimously.  

Treasurer: (Elizabeth Henry) Elizabeth announced that the Association has $14,422.75 in the bank.  

Membership: (Jeff Moore) Jeff is collecting payment for the Christmas Dinner.  The invitations to the Christmas Dinner were mailed to the members a week and a half ago.  Hopefully everyone has received an invitation.  The hard deadline to RSVP is next Tuesday (28 Nov).  Tim offered that he had attached an invitation RSVP form to the meeting email notice he sent everyone as a reminder of tonight’s meeting.  See Jeff if you haven’t received an invitation.

Programs: (Tim Anderson) December is the Association’s Annual Christmas Dinner on Tuesday 5 December at the Broadmoor Golf Course.  The featured speaker will be Bernadette Darnell, she is the Mission Coordinator for Angel Flight.

Fly-Outs:  The November fly-out (18 Nov) was to Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field (KLZU), with lunch at the on-airport restaurant “The Flying Machine.”  Bill Whitehead was the only member who was able to make the trip. Tim offered that we will try Gwinnett County again in January.  Because of the Christmas holiday there will be no fly-out in December.  

Project SOAR Update:  Lew Bleiweis, the Executive Director of the Asheville Airport Authority provided the members an update on the status of Project SOAR.  The Airport Authority has shut the project down for the remainder of this year.  Basically, they have terminated the contractor off the contract and have contacted the Bonding company regarding the decision. The contract was slated to be completed this month (November) with the new runway slated to officially open on 7 December.  The runway is now scheduled to open in November 2018.  Part of the delay, in addition to the time to hire a new contractor, is due to the way the FAA charts Instrument Landing System (ILS) approaches, so operations will continue with A1 remaining open and A2 remains open for aircraft runups.  When the project starts back up, the airport will be closing part of Alpha taxiway on the north end and allowing aircraft to back taxi on the runway.  Hopefully with a new contractor, they will be able to meet the stated deadlines for completion.  Air Traffic Control has been very patient with the delays.  The terminal garage project is nearly complete.  The Terminal Drive level of the garage opened Friday (17 November), the rest of the garage will open by the end of the month.  Basically, all that remains is for the State elevator inspector to inspect the elevators and the operations of the garage.   The Airport Authority is also doing some terminal assessment studies.  The terminal is 60 years, the water lines are 60 years old, the sewer lines are 60 years old and the electrical system is 60 years old as well.  They are also looking at expanding the terminal building.  The airport is in their fourth record year for passenger count.  Estimates are that the airport will have a 13-15% passenger count increase over the last year.  In addition, the airport is very close to a million-passenger count for a year.  They will have to expand the skeletal footprint of the terminal, so that will need a structural assessment of the terminal as well.  The airport is also conducting an environmental assessment for expanding the commercial apron to the south (near the ravine between the terminal building and the employee parking lot).  The loop road that brings you back to the terminal should open right after Thanksgiving holiday.  The cost for parking in the new garage initially will be $13.00 per day and $9.00 per day for long term parking.  When the garage is fully open and operational the short-term pricing will be $2.00 per hour with a maximum of $20.00 per day. They want passengers to use the garage.  This rate is cheaper than GSP and Charlotte for garage parking.  Allegiant Airlines is coming out with their new flight schedule for next summer and they will have flights to Fort Lauderdale (KFLL) and St. Petersburg-Clearwater (KPIE) seven days a week (currently they only fly, from Asheville, to those destination 4 days a week).

Skip Capone related a cautionary tale regarding a VFR flight he and one of his primary flight students took from Asheville to Donaldson Field (KGYH).  The flight was to get his airplane its bi-annual transponder, altimeter and static system checks at PF Flyers avionics shop.  They requested VFR flight following with Asheville Approach who intern handed the flight over to Greer Approach who in-turn handed the flight over to Donaldson tower.  Following the instructions from the Donaldson tower the flight tracked to enter a right base for runway 23 and made a normal approach and landing.  Upon landing Skip was asked to contact Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) tower because of a possible “pilot deviation”.  Upon contacting the GMU tower he was told that he had busted GMU’s airspace (GMU tower has radar).  Skip filed a NASA Report.  The teaching point: VFR flight following only provides traffic advisories, work load permitting, and not clearance into or through class C or D airspace.  Other factors are the close and overlapping proximity of the GSP Class C airspace, the GMU Class D airspace and the GYH Class D airspace, and poor ATC coordination among Greer Approach, GMU tower and GYH tower advising each other about traffic in close proximity to their airspace.

II. New Business:  None

The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 PM

Feature Program:  Spotlight on a Member: Arnie Andresen gave an entertaining and informative presentation regarding his experiences in aviation in general and specifically his experiences and recollections regarding his time with the Piper Aircraft company.

Submitted by: Tim Fox, Secretary