Tulsa airport trustees accept $1.36 million in federal grants


May 13--A proposed $34.09 million 2011-2012 budget was reviewed, $1.36 million in federal grants accepted and a $1.08 contract for two passenger boarding bridges was approved Thursday by the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust.

Trustees also approved a comprehensive Airports Ordinance that includes rules and regulations for the maintenance and operation of Tulsa International Airport and Jones Riverside Airport at Jenks. The ordinance is subject to the approval of the Tulsa City Council.

Nancy McNair, airports legal counsel, said the Airports Ordinance gives the Tulsa Airport Authority enforcement mechanisms to cure violations of leases, laws and regulations. Violators could be fined up to $150 a day or have their lease terminated, she said.

Violations under the new ordinance include failure to properly maintain airport property, use of a hangar for non-aeronautical commercial activity, taxiing aircraft in undesignated area and unauthorized parking in movement area.

"There will be an opportunity to provide a warning," McNair said. "We are not trying to financially penalize people. We are trying to enforce the rules."

"Title One -- Airports Ordinance" can be viewed on the Tulsa Airport Authority's website at www.tulsaairports.com. At the top of the home page, click on "About TAA," scroll down to "Title One -- Airports Ordinance" and click on it, officials said.

The board reviewed, but took no action on, the proposed $34.09 million 2011-2012 budget, which is down slightly from the $34.4 million 2010-2011 budget. Trustees will consider approving the budget at the board's monthly meeting in June.

The proposed budget includes increases in lease rates in the passenger terminal, higher landing fees for air carriers and increased parking rates in airport parking lots.

The proposed change in the parking rate is the elimination of 30 minutes of free parking on the top floor of the parking garage opposite the east and west baggage claim rooms. The standard rate will be $2 per hour, said Airports Director Jeff Mulder.

The rationale for eliminating 30 minutes of free parking is that visitors have the option of parking for free in the cell phone parking lot adjacent to Cargo Road, southeast of the passenger terminal, airport executives said.

"Timing may be an issue," Mulder said. "We want to leave enough time so customers get advance notice of what's happening."

Advance notice of the parking rate change will be provided through the airport's website, by signs and by employees of TAA and American Parking, which operates the airport parking lots, Mulder said.

Trustees accepted four pending Federal Aviation Administration grants: A $725,000 grant to install water lines and improve drainage in the North Development commercial area at Tulsa International. A $350,000 grant for removal of obstructions in a runway project and install a new fiber-optic network that supports the airfield access control system while expanding the network into areas controlled by TAA that are not now served by fiber at Tulsa International.

A $200,000 grant to upgrade airfield guidance signs and install new runway-end identifier lights and precision approach-path indicator lights at Jones Riverside Airport.

An $85,000 grant to rehabilitate the service road at Jones Riverside. In conjunction with the FAA grants, the board approved:

A $637,348 contract with Cherokee Pride Construction Inc. of Sapulpa for construction of the North Development Area water line and drainage project at Tulsa International. Cherokee Pride's was the lowest of six bids on the project. The engineer's estimate of the cost was $843,000.

A $155,335 professional engineering services contract with Faith Group of St. Louis for the upgrading of airfield access control equipment.

Trustees also approved a $1.08 million contract with ThyssenKrupp Airport Systems Inc. of Fort Worth for the purchase and installation of two new passenger boarding bridges on the west passenger concourse at Tulsa International.

ThyssenKrupp was the only bidder on the project. The engineer's estimate of the cost was $1.7 million.