Tulsa airport trustees review 5-year plan, lease with city
BY D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 7:15 AM
A five-year $118.5 million capital improvement plan for Tulsa International Airport, 2013 airport business plan and a new lease between the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust were reviewed Thursday by TAIT trustees.
The board also rejected the only bid received to replace six parking lot attendant booths and approved the $154,670 purchase of two diesel-powered parking lot shuttle buses.
Board members reviewed the initial drafts of 2014-2018 capital improvement plans at Tulsa International Airport and Jones Riverside Airport.
The Tulsa International Airport capital plan includes 24 projects in fiscal year 2014 that begins July 1:
The capital plan for Jones Riverside includes 13 projects totaling $12.1 million. Projects slated for the 2014 fiscal year include:
- Reconstruction of the east passenger concourse along the lines of the work completed on the $18 million west concourse last summer;
- Replacement of a passenger terminal building chiller;
- Construction of a rental car ready return facility;
- Planning for development of a multi-modal transportation hub at the northeast corner of Tulsa International Airport, and
- Continued phased reconstruction of the 10,000-foot main north-south runway at Tulsa International.
The capital projects will be built primarily with Federal Aviation Administration entitlement grants, which are based on airline passenger enplanements and cargo traffic and total about $4.5 million annually, said Jeff Hough, deputy airports director of engineering and facilities.
- Phased upgrade of airfield guidance signs;
- Strengthening of Taxiway Foxtrot, and
- Construction of sewer lines in the southwest commercial area.
Airports Director Jeff Mulder presented board members with the TAIT's Assessment & Action Plan for 2013.
In a slow economy, passenger traffic at Tulsa International in 2012 was 2.74 million, a decrease of 1.95 percent compared with 2011, while available seats stabilized at 5,800 per day.
During the last year, airline costs per enplaned passenger increased to $7.87 from $7.64 due to the loss of passengers and increased fares.
Among its peer airports, which include Little Rock; Louisville, Ky.; Birmingham, Ala.; Oklahoma City; and Tucson, Ariz., Tulsa continues to trail the other airports in non-airline revenue, which keeps Tulsa's airline cost per passenger at a higher level, Mulder said.
"We are aggressively pursuing property development efforts and a rental car garage development that will provide additional non-airline revenue over the next few years," Mulder said in the action plan.
Trustees reviewed an extensive study, "Airport Reorganization with new City Lease and Service Agreement."
In conjunction with a year-old report from Leigh Fisher Management Consultants, Mulder and airport staff are discussing with Mayor Dewey Bartlett and city staff the advantages of transforming TAIT into a more independent organization.
Under the revised structure, the mayor would continue to appoint, and the city council will continue to confirm members to the TAIT board, Mulder said.
In a new lease, City of Tulsa employees who work at the airport would become employees of TAIT, and many of the business services provided by the city - human resources, information services, legal services and finance - would be performed by TAIT.
"We run the airport like a private enterprise," Mulder said. "We don't use any city or tax dollars. Airport business cycles are not the same as the city's. We think this (new lease) would reduce operating costs and increase efficiency."
Mulder said Leigh Fisher and airport staff have concluded the $1.2 million TAIT pays the city annually for general government, human resources, information services, communications, legal and financial services could be provided by TAIT for $654,281 - a savings of $517,844 a year ($40,104 a year in communications services provided by the city to TAIT would not be necessary in a stand-alone organization, officials said).
Seven of 10 peer airports have converted to stand-alone entities, including Little Rock; Charleston, S.C.; Birmingham; Louisville; Richmond and Norfolk, Va.; and Tucson, Mulder said. Only Tulsa, Oklahoma City and El Paso, Texas, retain the city-operated airport model among peer group airports, he said.
Issues the city and airport staffs will continue to discuss are health and benefit plans, separation and vacation costs, Mulder said.
Trustees approved the $154,670 purchase of two shuttle buses from Around the Clock Freightliner Group L.L.C. The new buses will replace two 2002 buses. Tulsa International has 10 shuttle buses that serve airport parking facilities, eight diesel and two compressed natural gas vehicles.
An $113,932 change order for the $4.5 million outbound baggage conveyor upgrade project with Diversified Conveyors Inc. was approved by the board.
The baggage conveyor change includes modifications related to the new explosive detection system machines for additional communication cabling to the Transportation Security Administration control room, neutral power cabling required by the new machines and condensate pumps to remove water generated by the EDS machine cooling equipment, Hough said.
The board rejected the single $111,450 bid it received for replacement of six parking lot attendant booths. The engineer's estimate was $52,200.
Tulsa Airport Improvement Trust actions on Thursday
• Reviewed five-year $118.5 million capital improvement plan
for Tulsa International Airport and $12.1 million plan for Jones
• Approved purchase of two airport parking shuttle buses for
• Reviewed 2013 airport business plan
• Reviewed proposed new City of Tulsa/TAIT lease
• Approved $113,932 change order to the $4.5 million outbound
baggage conveyor upgrade project
• Rejected the sole $111,450 bid for replacement of six parking
lot attendant booths
Source: Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust
Original Print Headline: Tulsa airport plans reviewed
D.R. Stewart 918-581-8451
A crew works on reconstructing the main runway at Tulsa International Airport on Thursday. MATT BARNARD/ Tulsa World
Construction equipment works near the control tower on the demolition of the main runway at Tulsa International Airport on Thursday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World