Tulsa, Okla., Airport Gets Parking Plans

A consultant recommends construction of a $ 13.6 million, 736-space expansion of the parking garage at Tulsa International Airport to increase covered parking revenue at less cost than alternatives.

Trustees of the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust accepted the recommendations and the 18-page report of Carl Walker Inc., a Frisco, Texas, parking consultant, but took no action on it Thursday.

Commissioned by trustees last fall for $ 12,000, Carl Walker's report considers a one-level expansion of the existing two-story parking garage; construction of a $ 19.9 million, 942-space three-level garage west of the existing parking garage; and development of a more remote parking garage on the south shuttle parking lot.

Carl Walker recommends rejecting the third option because the south shuttle lot is the most distant from the passenger terminal, and the proposal would have to include plans for the displaced shuttle lot parking spaces.

Adding a third deck to the garage also would provide the most convenient covered parking, and would use existing entries, exits and ramping systems as well as the foundations, columns and other structural components of the garage, the study finds.

The disadvantages of expanding the garage include disruption of operations during construction and the necessity of phasing construction to minimize the shortage of long-term parking spaces.

Assuming construction of the garage expansion would begin in 2006, projected operating revenue in the first year after construction would be $ 1.3 million, according to the study. Operating revenue in the 10th year after construc tion would be $ 1.75 million, Carl Walker says.

Annual debt service on a 6 percent-interest, 25-year loan on the $ 13.5 million project would be $ 1.06 million, yielding TAIT an annual profit after bond debt of $ 280,059 in the first year and $ 689,501 in the 10th year.

Trustees also approved a one-year, $ 30,000 commercial air service marketing study, which will be performed by Eclat Consulting Inc. Eclat will identify airlines and markets that are the most likely candidates for new air service from Tulsa.

In recommending approval of the study, Airports Director Jeff Mulder said the upheaval in the airline industry requires the city to be "pro-active" in its marketing.

"We, in essence, are competing with other communities for service," Mulder said. A study "gives us a good snapshot of where we are, where this market is."

Trustees approved an amendment to TAIT's five-year capital improvement plan for fiscal years 2006-2010.

The amendment advances construction of a 1,200-foot extension of the 9,000-foot Taxiway Echo from 2007 to 2006. Taxiway Echo runs along the east side of the 10,000-foot main north-south runway at Tulsa International Airport.

The amendment also delays construction of a 3,000-foot extension of the 4,000-foot Taxiway Charlie from 2006 to 2007. Taxiway Charlie runs along the south side of the east-west crosswind runway.

"Charlie needs environmental planning that's going to take a little longer" before the project can meet federal specifications, said Jeff Hough, deputy airport director of engineering and facilities.

The board approved a $ 109,445 final payment and accepted the $ 1.09 million asbestos abatement project in the passenger terminal. Completion of the project will accelerate construction on the remainder of the $ 30 million terminal security and improvements project, officials said.

Board members also approved a standard private hangar lease form for use at Jones Riverside Airport.

Trustee Charles Sublett said the new lease form addresses a variety of issues, including insurance, that have been concerns of lessees at Jones.

Airline passenger traffic rose 10.38 percent at Tulsa International in November, to 264,790 people. For the first 11 months of the year, passenger traffic totaled 2.87 million, up 6.35 percent from the same period last year.

Carl Remus, deputy airports director of finance and administration, said passenger traffic at Tulsa International has increased significantly for eight or nine consecutive months compared with the same period of 2004.


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