Item No: 2A.
Meeting Date: October 4, 2012
From: Doug Drymon, Deputy City Manager/Interim Airport Manager
Subject: Role of the Leesburg Airport Advisory Board (AAB) in the overall operation and management of Leesburg International Airport.
The role of the Leesburg Airport Advisory Board (sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Leesburg Regional Airport Authority) and the Board’s various duties and responsibilities can be found in Part II, Chapter 2, Article IV, Division 9, Sections 2-161 through 2-164 of the Leesburg Code of Ordinances. A copy of these four sections is attached for reference.
Section 2-163(a) of the City’s Code of Ordinances includes the following language:
“The board shall advise the city manager or designee, and report to the city commission on a periodic basis concerning all matters affecting the Leesburg Regional Airport, including but not limited to safety, security, emergency planning, airspace, runway protection zone encroachments, capital improvements projects, hangar construction and operation, businesses operating at the airport, and coordination with the state aviation system plan, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the board of county commissioners of Lake County and such other planning and coordination efforts as may be necessary to the safe, efficient and proper operation, maintenance and expansion of the Leesburg Regional Airport.”
Out of what City staff sees as a sincere desire and enthusiasm to improve the appearance and use of Leesburg International Airport, coupled with the Airport Advisory Board’s interpretation of its duties and responsibilities as delineated within Section 2-163(a), there has unfortunately developed a certain amount of overlap between staff's operational responsibilities and the Board's advisory role to the City Commission with regards to Airport planning, priorities and projects.
Partly to address this issue the City Commission and the Airport Advisory Board have scheduled a joint meeting for October 4, 2012. Among the topics of discussion expected to be covered by the City Commission and the Airport Advisory Board are the Board’s role in the operation and management of the Airport.
To assist the City Commission and the Airport Advisory Board in this dialogue, staff researched approximately 10 different Airports in the Central Florida area which are similar in size and scope of operations to Leesburg International Airport. Approximately half of these airports employ appointed Advisory Boards (the others were typically governed by Authorities). The duties and responsibilities of the Advisory Boards at the airports that have them (Ocala, Ormond Beach, Flagler Beach & Kissimmee) were compared with those of Leesburg’s Airport Advisory Board, and the results of this study were used to prepare some suggested revisions to the sections of the City’s Code of Ordinances which govern the make-up and functioning of the Airport Advisory Board.
Staff welcomes the City Commission and the Airport Advisory Board to review the revised language, and discuss with us your thoughts and suggestions on how each party can work cooperatively to serve the users and tenants of Leesburg International Airport.
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