Airport Master Plan Update Funded

Devil Dog lifting off webThe City of Georgetown is beginning an update process for the Airport Master Plan for the Georgetown Municipal Airport. The City Council approved a project participation agreement at their regular meeting Tuesday night.

Funding for the project is being provided through a 90/10 matching grant program administered by the Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Division that requires a 10 percent local match. The grant includes $180,000 in federal funding and $20,000 in funding from the City Airport fund, which is supported by revenues and taxes generated at the Airport. Local Airport funds of $20,000 for the grant were approved in the City’s budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The Airport Master Plan is a long-term planning document that provides a framework for future considerations at the Airport, such as new business opportunities, infrastructure improvements, and desired community goals for the Airport. The current Airport Master Plan was last updated in 2005.

A consultant will be hired this summer to lead the update process. Public input will be part of the Master Plan update, which is scheduled to begin this fall and is expected to be a two-year process.

The Georgetown Municipal Airport is a general aviation regional reliever airport located on Airport Road in Georgetown. Find out more about the Georgetown Municipal Airport at airport.georgetown.org.

Airport Improvements Funded by TXDOT

Terminal and zero webSafety and maintenance improvements at the Georgetown Municipal Airport are set to begin this spring. The work is funded under a 90/10 match grant program through the Texas Department of Transportation. The Texas Transportation Commission approved an $8.3 million dollar grant at their meeting on January 28. Airport revenues are funding $830,000 toward the improvements, which is a 10 percent match to the TXDOT funding.

Improvements include a new lighting system along the taxiways to improve visibility for pilots at night or in foggy conditions. In addition, taxiways will be repaired with crack seal and seal coating and the concrete apron near the Terminal will be patched. A taxiway realignment will allow for easier movement of airplanes. In order to meet clear zone requirements, trees will be removed at the end of Runway 11/29.

Below-ground fuel tanks at the Airport will be replaced with new above-ground tanks, including a 15,000 gallon tank for Avgas and a 20,000 gallon tank for Jet A fuel. The new tanks meet current environmental rules for aviation fueling facilities. A concrete containment berm will enhance groundwater protection.

It should be noted that these improvements will not lengthen runways or allow heavier planes to land at the Airport. The improvements are designed to improve safety for the type of aircraft currently using the Airport.

Another element of the grant funding through TXDOT includes an update to the Airport Master Plan, which guides future use and development of the Airport. Public involvement will be a key element of the Master Plan update. Consultant selection is slated to begin this summer on the two-year Master Plan update process.

For more information about Airport improvements, go to the Georgetown Municipal Airport website at airport.georgetown.org. Click on the Citizen FAQ link.

Jet Supplier Sees High-Flying Handiwork

Gulfstream front shot 2-1000Employees of a Georgetown aerospace parts manufacturer got a rare tour of a luxury corporate jet on Monday where they saw the components they make installed inside a $65 million aircraft.

Employees with Gulfstream flew a G650 business jet from the Gulfstream manufacturing facility in Savannah, Georgia to the Georgetown Municipal Airport. On a taxiway at the Airport, several employees with Enflite in Georgetown got a brief tour inside the jet. (Click on photos to see a larger version.)

Enflite makes subassembly components for sliding doors, tables, and televisions in the plane, as well as equipment in the galley such as ovens and coffee-makers. Enflite supplies interior components to a number of aerospace manufacturers.

Gulfstream three guys 2-1000

In the photo above (left to right) are Gulfstream pilot John Salamankas, Donny Vance with Enflite, and Interim Airport Manager Curtis Benkendorfer.

The G650 flies at nearly the speed of sound and can cruise at 51,000 feet. It can fly up to 18 passengers from New York to Beijing without stopping for gas.

So who owns one of these planes that retails for $65 million? According to a Bloomberg News article earlier this year, corporate owners of a G650 include Exxon Mobil, Honeywell, Walmart, and Qualcomm.

table extended 2-1000

Enflite makes the subassembly components that allow a passenger to press a button to have a table fold into a side pocket.

table into pocket 2-1000

Here the folded table is lowering into the side pocket.

television screen 2 1000

Enflite also makes devices that allow a television to lower into a storage cabinet.

Capital Improvement Projects Proposed for 2015

Learn about proposed transportation and utility infrastructure projects in Georgetown for the upcoming fiscal year.

Citizens are encouraged to view the proposed City of Georgetown 2015 Capital Improvement Plan summary to be presented to the Georgetown Utility Systems Advisory Board and Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board on Friday, May 9, 2014 (linked to below).

Projects in the proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2015 include street overlay and street reconstruction projects, curb and drainage improvements, water line upgrades, wastewater system improvements, and electric system improvements.

Both the Georgetown Transportation Advisory Board and the Georgetown Utility Systems Advisory Board will make a recommendation on the 2015 Capital Improvement Plan to the City Council at their respective Friday, May 9, 2014 meetings. The CIP is scheduled for review and approval by the city council in June as an element of the overall 2014/15 city budget.

All Capital Improvement Plan documents can be viewed at the following location: http://records.georgetown.org/weblink8/0/fol/421931/Row1.aspx

Questions about or comments on the proposed capital improvement projects for 2015 can be emailed to cipcomments@georgetown.org.

Airport Tower Funding From TXDOT and City Approved

Update: Today the FAA has delayed tower closures until June 15th.  So the City contracts and funding of the tower will not begin until June 16th if TxDOT allows the grant to be extended to that date.

The Georgetown city council voted this morning to accept an emergency short-term grant from the Texas Department of Transportation to help fund staffing of the control tower at the Georgetown Municipal Airport. The TXDOT grant provides 90 percent of the funding for tower staffing by air traffic controllers. The City will fund the remaining 10 percent of the staffing cost. The city council approved the funding arrangement in a special meeting to address the tower funding issue.

The 90/10 funding arrangement is on an emergency basis for 90 days. The state and local money replaces federal funding from the Federal Aviation Administration that ends on April 7. Funding was cut for FAA contract employees at airport control towers as a result of sequestration federal budget cuts that took effect in March.

Yesterday, the Texas Transportation Commission approved the emergency state funding program for control towers at 14 airports in Texas. The TXDOT funding program is a reimbursement grant in which the City of Georgetown will pay the expected $158,687 cost to staff the tower for 90 days and will later be reimbursed by TXDOT for 90 percent of the cost. The City’s portion of the 90-day cost is projected to be $15,868.70. City funding will come from the Airport Fund or General Fund programs that have experienced cost saving in the 2013 Budget.  Staff will present those options to City Council at the April 23rd regular meeting.

The city council also approved a contract with Robinson Aviation to provide the air traffic controllers to staff the control tower. Controllers with Robinson Aviation have worked under an FAA contract to staff the Georgetown control tower since it opened in 2007.

If FAA funding for tower operations is restored before the 90-day period, then the TXDOT and City funding for tower operations would be discontinued.