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From the Publisher There was a time that I was heavily involved in community theatre. As I look back, one of the most enjoyable things about the stage was seeing the set construction, lighting design, and acting all coming together to create a finished product. Seeing the completion of the first edition of the State Aviation Journal has resulted in a similar pleasure! Not unlike the producer/director of a play, to see the writing, photography, and graphic design all come together, has resulted in a certain satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. But as every good director knows it's the magic that takes place on the stage and the response of the audience that dictates the length of the run! Directing the ebb and flow of this business, the website, Skybrief, and the electronic magazine has truly been a labor of love. Most of the credit and hard work however, goes to a very talented team which includes my wife, contributing writer Andrea Brennan, webmaster David Richards, business manager, Jenine Johnson, and Andrew Stevens, graphic designer and photographer. Those folks, along with many others who have provided columns, suggestions and encouragement have truly been an inspiration! I would be remise if I didn't mention the companies who have supported us in these beginning stages through their advertising commitments: GCR & Associates, Panther International, any AWOS, Belfort Industries, and QED. As heard in the cabin of one particular airline, "we know you have a choice and we appreciate you flying with us!" We hope this issue whets your appetite for what is to come as we continue to look into the world of state aviation. As always we covet your comments and suggestions and if there are any thespians among you, I’d love to hear a hearty - "break a leg!"

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Former Wyoming Director Trades Cessna for Airbus


Pfeiffer Inducted into North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame




Vermont Tests First All Solar Hazard Beacon

Special Photo Coverage:


New Subcommittee Chair a Strong Voice for Aviation


Environmental Corner: Green Skies?


Row 13-F


A Matter of Tax:


NASAO 2009 Washington Legislative Conference

A Look at Aviation Taxes in the States


Preview of June/July Issue

Special Focus: Illinois Aviation


Shea Sees “Blue Skies” Ahead Economic Conditions Halt Midway Privatization Efforts An Interview with Applied Pavement Technology Taking Off at Six Miles Per Hour

On The Cover: A Waco F-5 shot at Oshkosh in 2008.

State Aviation Journal Publisher/Editor/Photography Graphic Design Business Manager/Development Director Contributing Writers


Kim J Stevens Andrew Stevens Jenine Johnson Andrea Brennan Gary Ness Columnists Chuck Howe Nel Stubbs

Former Wyoming Director Trades Cessna for Airbus W

hether it was flying C-130’s in Vietnam, a Cessna Conquest from Cheyenne to Casper or an Airbus from Denver to San Jose, Costa Rica, it’s the same thing that has kept Richard “Dick” Spaeth in the left seat. “It’s a sense of release,” said Spaeth, currently a captain for Frontier Airlines. For the 59 year old former state director from Wyoming, flying an Airbus A-320 has been a great experience. He has been able to fly to many destinations with Frontier including Costa Rica, Alaska and even ferried an Airbus from Europe to the States. “There is an inner pride knowing that you can do it,” says Spaeth, speaking of flying. “The feeling is hard to put in words - I’ve always loved airplanes!” In Vietnam, Spaeth flew both C130’s and KC-135’s finishing up his stint in the Air Force at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. Before leaving the Air Force, he acquired his civilian pilot ratings and then picked up his family and moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming to help his Dad in business; but he couldn’t stay out of the cockpit and was successful in building some time in Twin Otters flying for Rocky Mountain Airlines. In 1981, Spaeth began his career in state aviation when he was hired by the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission as an Aeronautical Program Community Representative. Spaeth was quick to add that it was the “great” training in the Air Force that prepared him for his career with the state, not only in the cockpit but running an aeronautics division. Spaeth received that training coincidentally at Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, AZ, just a quick taxi down the road from

Richard “Dick” Spaeth

where he lives today. Five years later, in 1986, he was promoted as the director for the State of Wyoming. Spaeth saw the Commission through its transition to becoming part of the Wyoming Department of Transportation in 1991. What he valued most about his 15 years as a state aviation director was his opportunity to fly - that kept him sane - and the ability to see both sides of the coin; the planning and construction of airport projects and as a pilot, the ability to fly into an airport and see first hand the fruits of his labor. W hen asked what he enjoyed most about his tenure with Wyoming, Spaeth responded, “I enjoyed the people involved in aviation. What I didn’t enjoy was the politics and bureaucracy,” said Spaeth

sharing his colorful version of an E. E. Cummings quote. It may have been the politics and bureaucracy that eventually led him to apply with Frontier Airlines in December 2000. In January 2001, he gave his notice to the state and went to work with the airline a month later. He was part of the first crew to be sent to Miami to train in the Airbus A-320. After three years flying in the right seat he was upgraded to Captain in March 2004. “The Airbus is a highly automated fly-by-wire aircraft with five flight control computers,” and evidently, according to Spaeth, “like all computers sometimes you have to reboot to correct a problem, and sometimes you just have to ‘unplug them from the wall!’” Spaeth gave the example of having to shut everything down before one flight just to get the three onboard toilets to flush! Now that’s something we can all appreciate! Reflecting over his years in aviation he was quick to point out technological advances; GPS, RNAV, TCAS. He referenced the auto land capability of the Airbus noting that he once landed with an RVR of 500 feet. With the minimum of 300 feet visibility and no ceiling, “you don’t see the runway until the plane touches down,” Spaeth mused! “It’s a far cry from the days of round dials!”

Spaeth on the ramp at Denver International


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Pfeiffer Inducted into North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame Roger L. Pfeiffer, retired Assis-

Center Board for Aviation Research tant Director of the North Dakota and Education. Aeronautics Commission and long “I enjoyed my time with NASAO,” time friend of the National Association said Pfeiffer, “going to the convenof State Aviation Officials (NASAO), tions, Oshkosh (Experimental Aircraft was recently inducted into the North Association’s annual event in OshDakota Aviation Hall of Fame. kosh, Wisconsin) and time with the “It was quite a surprise,” said NASAO Center; those were good Pfeiffer who began his 39 year career memories!” with the State of North Dakota when Born and raised on a farm south he became a pilot for the North Daof Redstone, Montana, Pfeiffer gradukota Highway Department in 1966. ated from Plentywood High School in Mark Holzer, who worked along 1957. He served on active duty in the side Pfeiffer for twenty of those years, Army Reserve before heading to said Roger had a close relationship Alaska to work on the Distant Early with aerial sprayers over that time and Warning (D.E.W.) Line in 1960 as an was faithful in making sure that the aircraft mechanics helper. Inspired by rules on safety were followed by the the field of aviation while in Alaska, he industry. Holzer, Interim Director of returned to attend flight school at the North Dakota Aeronautics ComAmerican Flyers in Ardmore, OK in mission, said that 1961. It was there he Roger did airport in- “I enjoyed my time with received his commerspections and flew NASAO,” said Pfeiffer, cial and instructors lievery section line in “going to the conventions, censes. In 1962, Roger North Dakota. Oshkosh and time with the was hired as a pilot at In 1979, Pfeiffer Dickinson Air Service NASAO Center; those were went to work for the where he did charter FAA at the flight ser- good memories!” flights, flight instruction, vice station in Minot for power line patrol, crop spraying and two years, but returned to join the ski flying in the winter blizzards of North Dakota Aeronautics Commis1964 and 1966. sion as the Assistant Director and Pfeiffer served as Secretary of the chief pilot, a role in which he served North Dakota Aviation Council for until his retirement in 2007. Pfeiffer more than 20 years and was an active transported state personnel and flew participant. He also served as Secreaerial photography. He has flown at tary for the North Dakota Flying Farmleast five different North Dakota govers Association for over 21 years. In ernors and many state officials. 1991, Roger received the “Flight Pfeiffer enjoyed working with Safety Achievement Award” for young people through educational 10,000 hours as Pilot-In-Command programs, such as the Experimental for safe flying for the State of North Aircraft Association's Young Eagles Dakota. Roger received the National Program and served on the NASAO Association of State Aviation Officials Page 4


Roger Pfeiffer

“Distinguished Service Award” in 1997. In 1998, he received the “North Dakota Aviation Council Special Service” award. During his nearly 40 year career with the State of North Dakota, he has been involved in almost every aspect of general aviation. He retired in 2007 with over 18,000 hours of total flight time. When asked how it felt to be inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame, Roger humbly replied, “There are only 32 of us!”


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Illinois Aeronautics Director Sees “Blue Skies” Ahead By Andrea Brennan

Artist drawing of new Peoria International terminal building.


usan Shea, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Aeronautics for the State of Illinois, envisions near-term and long-term growth in Illinois aviation. From overseeing infrastructure projects such as the South Suburban Airport (SSA), to mentoring students seeking aviation careers, Shea’s office is maintaining “one of the safest and one of the largest” state aviation systems in the nation. Aviation in Illinois is poised to provide new opportunities and Shea is enthusiastic about the impact on pilots, passengers, and communities. Aviation projects in Illinois play an important role in creating and preserving jobs, Shea explained. Airfields range from international airports, such as O’Hare and Midway, to grass strips serving farmers, and each creates needs for trained pilots and well-maintained facilities. Shea has managed over $200 million Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) dollars funded through her office for infrastructure projects since becoming Director. These projects, Shea emphasized, provide safety and improved efficiency for the flying public and promote commercial activity. Mid-size airports are expanding service and functions. Chicago-Rockford International Airport (RFD) pasPage 6

senger service is growing and the airport is expanding its international terminal building. The airport just announced new service to Baltimore/Washington D.C. and New York/Newark, increasing the total number of air service providers to four and offering nine non-stop destinations, as well as, various international charter operations. RFD is home to one of six major UPS regional hubs in the U.S. processing hundreds of millions of packages each year. Peoria International Airport is constructing a brand-new passenger terminal building. The state-of-theart facility will improve passenger comfort, increase energy efficiency, and better accommodate post-9/11 security requirements. The terminal will provide a home to five airlines serving nine destinations across the country. Dr. Susan Shea The Illinois Division of Aeronautics is optimistic about two Metro-St. Louis airports that are thriving. The St. Louis Downtown Airport, located


in Cahokia, IL, continues to show record growth and there are plans to expand the airfield. Midcoast Aviation, a major aircraft MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) that employs hundreds of highly skilled aviation workers, has expanded their facilities significantly in recent years. In 2008, the FAA cut the ribbon on a new state-of-the-art Airport Traffic Control Tower. MidAmerica Airport in Belleville, Illinois provides cargo airfreight, charter air travel, and operates jointly with Scott Air Force Base as a civilian runway to support the Air Mobility Command and Transportation Command. Shea estimates that thousands of jobs have been preserved because of MidAmerica and suggests that it has a bright future. For example, the airport is now a major hub for fresh flowers imported to the United States from South America and manufacturers will soon begin exporting cargo back to South America. Another project in progress is the South Suburban Airport near Chicago. The Division of Aeronautics is working on several near and longterm milestones, including the master plan, land acquisition, and investigating the possibility of providing public transit to the airport. The airport will generate two thousand jobs, Shea estimates, to support cargo, passenger, and general aviation. Funding and revenue for these projects is a priority for the division. Illinois offers Series B bonds to help fund federally matched projects. The state also collects a small fee for pilot and aircraft registration; this money is targeted for aviation education, support, and safety—not for general Illinois budget funding. The American Recovery and Investment Act (ARRA, al so known as t he stimul us plan) targets $1.1 billion for aviation

projects that can begin within 120 days. Shea expressed confidence that many Illinois projects are “ready to go,” and in fact will reach out “with my Abraham Lincoln stovepipe hat in hand” to obtain stimulus funds that other states might pass up. Shea is working with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn as he presents a state capital bill that will provide funding to airports to preserve and protect infrastructure, improve safety, and expand. Illinois is leading the nation as an innovator in airport privatization as another way to generate revenue. Midway Airport in Chicago would have been a national field test had a 99-year lease to a U.S.-Canadian consortium been approved by the airlines using the airport. Shea would have anticipated approval sometime this Spring had the investors not pulled out. Even with the setback, Midway remains the only major airport participating in the privatization field test. It is no secret that general aviation in the U.S. has been hit by the

rising price of fuel and the overall economic downturn. In Illinois, general aviation has encountered some turbulence, but is expected to weather the economic storm. Now that the spring/ summer flying season is just around the corner, lower fuel prices, lower airfares, and improving weather conditions should spark an increase in general aviation activity. Shea explains that despite the recession, people prefer air travel because it is still more effective than driving. Airports will see an influx of infrastructure improvements from the ARRA, providing a much-needed shot in the arm for aviation. As with other facets of the economy, general aviation will recover and prosper. So buckle your seatbelt, Shea said, because it will be a bumpy flight for a while longer, but blue skies are ahead. The future of aviation in Illinois holds great promise. Shea’s office works with several colleges and universities across the state that train engineers, managers, and pilots. In mid-March, students from Southern

Chicago-Rockford International Airport (RFD)


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Shea Continued from previous page. aviation and job-shadowed aeronautics employees. Meanwhile students at Kishwaukee College in DeKalb used their spring break to go to Springfield to demonstrate a flight simulator for legislators. Shea also noted a new program at Shawnee Community College in Cairo, where students who have completed the two-year curriculum may continue their studies at a four-year university. The Shawnee program spurs jobs in an area experiencing economic hardship, said Shea. The Division of Aeronautics also participates in community programs such as the Boy Scouts Aviation Explorers, the Chicago Area 99’ers (for female pilots), and the Civil Air Patrol. Aviation will continue to grow, Shea predicts. O’Hare commissioned a new runway in 2008 that will help ease congestion at the airport, especially in bad weather.

Nearly 150 projects are planned around the state that will mean increased safety, improved service, and jobs. Shea intends to shepherd these projects through her office. She has been the director of the Illinois Division of Aeronautics for over four years and plans to continue in that role, for as long as she is asked to serve. Prior to her current post, she was the chairman of the airport board at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield, Illinois. Shea comes from a family of aviators, including her grandfather, father, mother, and three brothers. “Everybody in my family flies,” Shea said. If her planning and administration are successful, Illinois aviation will be flying high for some time to come.

St. Louis Downtown Airport (CPS) Page 8


Economic Conditions Halt Midway Privatization Efforts By Andrea Brennan


n April 20, 2009, the City of ers. The high-profile lease however Chicago announced that a pending 99 has not triggered a rush to privatiza-year lease of Midway Airport has tion in the United States and as Shea been terminated. Gene Saffold, chief points out, Midway had been the only financial officer for the city, explained current participant in the FAA privatithat the private investors, Midway In- zation program. In February, Convestment & Development Company necticut legislators discussed the LLC, were unable to secure the fi- benefits and risks of leasing at Bradnancing required to close the deal. ley International Airport and were met However, Saffold left the window with opposition from Federal agencies open for privatization at Midway once and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots economic conditions improve for the Association. Stewart International Airairline industry and for the investors. port in Newburgh, New York was priMidway has not withdrawn from its vately leased for several years and participation in the FAA Airport Priva- participated in the FAA program, but tization Pilot Program, where it holds ownership is once again public and the only slot for a major hub airport. A Stewart is no longer in the program. program representative said that the Privatization has the potential of FAA will allow Midway a "reasonable bringing short and long-term revenue amount of time" to decide what to do to local governments trying to balance next. their budgets. “A primary benefit is Midway was getting close to be- that a private operator can operate coming the first major publicly-owned, the airport and bring revenue back to public-use facility to lease its admini- the city,” said Charles Erhard, manstration, operations, and maintenance ager of airport compliance and operato private owners. tions for the FAA. A The City of Chicago The high-profile lease municipal government was expected to com- has not triggered a rush might also want or plete the financial need to keep airport to privatization! agreements for a 99operations in the area year lease this month with the LLC, but transfer responsibility to a private made up of a consortium of Vancou- operator, Erhard added. ver Airport Services Ltd., Citigroup, U.S. observers ponder what might and John Hancock Insurance Com- occur if owning or leasing an airport pany. Midway had been a participant does not create profits for the new in a Federal Aviation Administration owners or for the municipality. A maPilot Privatization Program that would jor incentive for the Midway lease was have allowed the airport to change an exemption from FAA rules that from a publicly owned, public-use fa- requires 100 percent of revenue to cility to private ownership. According be used at the airport. This exempto Dr. Susan Shea, Director of the tion would have allowed the city of Illinois Division of Aviation, this “field Chicago to use some of the proceeds test” for privatization would have be- from the lease for city budget items. gun this spring. Currently, no other major hub airport Midway would have joined major is eligible for this exemption. This, airports in Europe, Asia, Mexico, and and the need for sustained commitCanada that have turned over admini- ment from the community during the stration and operation to private own- application process, might be delay-

delaying airports from joining the FAA program. Preparing for Privatization Kevin Willis, compliance specialist at the FAA, adds that when airport and aviation officials are considering privatization, the first thing they should do is look at the financial statement for the airport and ask, “Why aren’t we making money? Can private ownership and operations make money?” The next step, said Erhard, is to retain assistance for the city staff trying to meet the application requirements. “You need in-house or retained expertise,” he said. Next, planners need to look at the feasibility of the project, including land use and acquisition for expansion if the new owners want to upgrade the terminal or add retail or other commercial space. Willis adds that the decision for a municipal or state agency to sell or lease an airport is a local decision and must have committed public support. The sale/lease request must be open for public review for sixty days. Privatization supporters must address the concerns of the community and aviation partners. In Illinois, for example, at least 65 percent of the air carriers using Midway had to approve of the privatization deal. In New York, the city held public hearings regarding the Stewart International Airport lease where people could voice their concerns. It takes political will to complete the process, Willis said, and that is affected by a change in elected officials or a loss of interest. Which other major US airports are the next best candidates for privatization? A 2002 privatization study suggests Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Austin, but will anyone step up?


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Doing Good Work and Having Fun! Goal of Illinois Consulting Firm By Andrea Brennan


avid Peshkin, Co-Founder of Applied Pavement Technology, Inc., an engineering consulting firm based in Urbana, Illinois, sees a lot of opportunities for the next generation of airport pavement engineers. Peshkin, Katie Zimmerman, and Maggie Covalt, all P.E.’s started the company in 1995. Peshkin recently answered questions about APTech for the State Aviation Journal.


SAJ—When did you, Maggie, and Katie decide to start APTech? How did you all first meet?


had all worked together

previously. In the mid-1980s Katie and Maggie worked together at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Engineering Research Laboratory and in 1987, Katie and David began working together at another consulting en-

gineering firm, where Maggie joined them in 1991. In November 1994, Katie left that firm and began exploring the possibility of starting her own firm. David left in early 1995 and Maggie left later that year. We all had different backgrounds, but had enjoyed working together and thought that we had the skills that could make a company succeed.


SAJ—What was the original goal of the company and some of the first objectives?


goals have always re-

mained about the same: do good work and have fun. Of course, being profitable has to be a part of that, but for some reason we’ve always placed a greater emphasis on the first two. To accomplish this, we’ve tried to find both employees and clients that share our goals, and for the most part we’ve been pretty successful at that.


SAJ—How did APTech become involved with aviation? What was the first project?

DP—Our first four major clients were all in aviation and were all really instrumental in getting the company started. We had worked with several of these clients previously, and they all seemed to recognize the contributions that we had made to successful David Peshkin

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projects. These clients included Buzz Schwandt at the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation, Dennis Roberts, then with the Colorado Division of Aeronautics (CDOA), Harry Miller at Iowa’s Office of Aviation, and Steve McNeely, then with the Virginia Department of Aviation.


SAJ—What project really lenged you as a team?



all of our projects were

challenging. We were a small company and we had to do everything, including field work, office work, accounting, marketing, and so on, but it’s almost always that way with a start -up company. One of our biggest challenges at the beginning was working at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports. Because of their operational constraints, almost all of the field work had to be done at night. So we would go out at night and do pavement evaluations, come back and grab a few hours of sleep, and then go into the office and do a day’s worth of work trying to get ready for the next day out, working on other projects, and basically trying as hard as we could to function, just like any other company at double-speed. As the firm has grown, the challenges have probably become a little more conventional. A couple of years ago, for example, we were challenged by Carol Comer and Ed Ratigan to help .

Georgia make the case for increased funding for their airports. We worked with them to prepare a unique Executive Summary that clearly communicated the case for additional funding for the target audience and played an important part in securing that additional funding.


SAJ—What is the driving philosophy that shapes your selection of projects and clients?


many engineering compa-

nies, we really like challenging projects that require us to use our specialized pavement backgrounds. That makes a project fun for the team working on it, and is also likely to impress our clients. As for clients, one thing that is as true today as it was almost 15 years ago, when the company first opened its doors, is that the best clients to work for are those that we also enjoy spending time with. A good working relationship with our clients is almost always accompanied by a good working friendship. In many cases, that can also really contribute to a successful project. In Colorado, for example, we’ve always conducted the condition surveys with CDOA staff and they’ve not only been great to work with, but they’ve also been very g o o d t r av e l i n g c o m p a n i o n s .


SAJ—Why do your clients choose APTech?


Maggie Covalt (Left) & Katie Zimmerman

cost overruns, requests for change orders, or any of the other problems that can driv e clients crazy.


SAJ—Is APTech involved with any of the transportation projects funded by the Stimulus Plan?


kind of work we do has

been more instrumental in identifying needed projects that are then potential beneficiaries of stimulus funding. For example, several of our statewide APMS projects have identified projects in this category. We’ve also been asked to accelerate pavement evaluation projects in the Midwest in the hope that they’ll be ready for stimulus funding. However, the Stimulus Plan has not really had that large an impact on our work.


SAJ—What excites you about APTech in the future?

DP—We’re like to think that our cli-

ents recognize the unique attributes we bring to their projects: we know what we’re doing, we do good work, and we are good to work with. They can count on receiving a product that is of the highest quality when they expected to receive it, and without

have 21 full-time pavement engineers on our staff, and we think that with this group as a nucleus, this is a great time to expand our capabilities and reach out to a broader range of clients, both in aviation and in other sectors. Some of the key technical areas where we think this opportunity exists include: materials engineering and sustainability, mechanistic-empirical design, and more GIS-based pavement engineering solutions. Our younger engineers represent the future of APTech and the industry, and there are a lot of exciting new directions that they’re going to help to lead us in. With the engineering expertise of this next generation and the new technology that’s becoming available, we’re looking forward to some really dynamic products for our clients.

really excited about the

future of the aviation industry and our ability to grow and provide opportunities for the next generation of airport pavement engineers. We currently

APTech specializes in aviationrelated pavement design, evaluation, and analysis. They have worked with the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop and maintain an airport pavement management system and pavement condition index at O’Hare International Airport. The company also provides consulting and pavement inspection services for Virginia Department of Aviation, Colorado Division of Aviation, and Michigan Department of Transportation Bureau of Aeronautics. For more information about Applied Pavement Technology, services, and contact information, see the company website at :


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a t

s i x p e r

m i l e s h o u r :

A Ground-Level Perspective of the Newest Runway at O’Hare International Airport By Andrea Brennan

It seemed like any other day at

the airport: I parked my car in the remote lot for O’Hare International Airport and hurried toward the gathering crowd. I said, “excuse me” as I worked my way to my preferred position in the middle of the right side. A voice patiently explained where we would be going. Another voice announced a delay of several minutes. Finally, after waiting in the warm sun for twenty minutes, we all took off. However, this was not just another flight leaving O’Hare: several hundred joggers, many toting cameras, began a 5K run on Runway 9L/27R, the first new runway at the airport in nearly 35 years. This was the first time a race was held on an active airfield, and I could see that aviation buffs, families with f asci nat ed children, and runners all shared in the excitement of Andrea Brennan being there. As the race began, the crowd spilled forward onto the service drive and moved toward the tarmac. After shuffling along with the slower joggers, I paused at what seemed a familiar point along the route and took out my camera. The traffic control tower and the airline hangars triggered a feeling of déjà vu. I then rePage 12

-alized that I had been in about the same spot prior to that morning. I first visited Runway 9L/27R when it was under construction, in the middle of January 2007. At that time, the drainage and soil were being prepared to keep the eventual pavement of the runway serviceable in any weather—this runway was planned to help reduce the number of cancelled and delayed flights at O’Hare in poor conditions. Despite the biting cold on that day, the heavy machinery moved about at a rapid pace to create the trenches for the concrete pipes and to level the runway area.

As the ice crunched beneath the truck and our feet, we observed several areas of the runway site. I looked over at the control tower for the main terminal, just north of us. Maybe it was the cold, but the tower seemed so far from where I stood. Eighteen months later, several people among the crowd cheered as we entered the taxiway. As I stood at the spot about where I stood before, I paused and held the camera at eye level. The cold, the drainage pipes, and the large hills of soil were gone. The ground lay level and now I could


clearly see the control tower and airline maintenance hangars from the completed runway north of the tower.

Some runners picked up their pace along the runway, which stretched out linearly. By this time I was up to six miles per hour, not quite enough speed to gain air buoyancy. The pavement was grooved longitudinally—little speed lines showing the direction of race’s flow—so we might have looked faster than we actually were running. We snaked around the halfway point and began heading back to the frontage road. From here, everything on and around the runway was visible. I looked at the race participants coming and going; some runners snapped photos of friends who stretched their arms out as they either sprinted down the runway or posed as if ready for takeoff.

Continued on next page.

Vermont Tests First All Solar Hazard Beacon Paying for the commercial power

and upkeep of thirty-eight hazard beacons across the state can get expensive, and for the Aviation Program of the Vermont Agency of Transportation that translates into one-quarter of their budget! The solution to go solar seemed obvious to Guy Rouelle, Aviation Operations Specialist for the Agency. “I offered the idea,” said Rouelle, who designed the first all solar L-864 Hazard Beacon. “It’s the first of its kind in the National Airspace System and it’s being tested here in Vermont.” The FAA will pay 95% with a 5% state match and according to Rouelle, an eight year comparable savings per light will be around $70,000 per light. Rouelle, who has a degree in engi-

neering, said renewable and self sustaining energy are employed by using photovoltaic technology. Designed to operate during the worst solar conditions, Rouelle said the unit will operate for 21 days without any solar Guy Rouelle input on a full charge. “Each unit will cost around $6,000,” said Rouelle who is also a Master Certified flight instructor. Testing was expected to have been completed April 15th, 2009.

For more information, you may contact Guy Rouelle at (802) 828-1083. One of 38 Vermont hazard beacons.

Cleared for Take Off Continued from previous page

Race security was pretty tight and as runners with cameras edged beyond the course boundaries, men and women in bright yellow jackets quickly waved them back. I have to admit that my curiosity was peaking by mid-course as I began to recognize the areas where I had walked before. As the group of joggers made progress toward the end of the run, I looked over to my right and saw lights, engines, and wings. A real airline flight on another runway had been cleared for takeoff and was heading straight towards us. The engines roared as the jet sped forward and then lifted above us. A child running alongside his mother covered his ears. I couldn’t believe how loud it was this close to the active runways. I wondered about the passengers on that jet. Did they see us, or did the pilot mention the hundreds of people running just beyond the end of their runway? I thought about how fast they were going as they passed over me, and how slow—really slow—I was moving, even as I was also taxiing off a runway.

The race organizers began shooing the laggards back to the service road and the finish line. I could understand their eagerness to secure the area and begin the post-5K festivities, which included live music, food, and games for the kids. From when we started the race until we finished, a flight taking off from O’Hare could have landed in Detroit, St. Louis, or Minneapolis. The O’Hare Modernization Program is constructing additional new runways that will improve efficiency at the airport. I hope they have another 5K because I’ve been working out, and perhaps by race day I will be up to eight miles per hour, cleared for takeoff.


NASAO 2009 Washington

Legislative Conference Each year, the National Association of State Aviation Officials hosts a spring legislative conference in our nation’s capitol to give state aviation officials the opportunity to hear from members of Congress, their staff, key FAA and other government personnel. It’s also an opportunity to take in the rich culture and historic offerings of this amazing city. The SAJ staff hope you enjoy the photos on the following three pages as we try to capture the flavor of this annual event.

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NASAO “Segways” into D.C. Conference line-up

Pictured above from left are Michelle Lewis, NASAO, Linda Burdette, Randy Burdette, Virginia Aviation Director, Henry Ogrodzinski, NASAO President, Travis Vallin, Colorado Aeronautics Director and Tommy Booth, Aviation Director from Mississippi. Below, signing releases are from left, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Burdette, Mr. Burdette, Mr. Vallin and Henry O.

Photos by Kim Stevens


NASAO Legislative Conference 2009

Kathryn Solee, NASAO and Victor Bird, Director Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission

State aviation officials were dished up a full plate at this year’s Legislative Conference, hearing from staffers from both sides of the aisle, as well as, Congressman Leonard Boswell, (D-Iowa). Attendees also had the opportunity to have an open conversation with Catherine Lang, Acting Associate Administrator for Airports, FAA. Networking with peers was always in abundance, as were AOPA’s staff and Regional Reps. Craig Fuller, AOPA’s new President, encouraged the strengthening of the relationship between the two organizations which was evident by the large AOPA turnout!

Joe Pestka, Administrator of Aviation, Missouri DOT

Gael Sullivan, Senate Staff left, Dr. Susan Shea, Aeronautics Director, Illinois DOT and Susan Chernenko, Director, West Virginia Aeronautics Commission

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Gary Cathey, Aeronautics Division Chief, California DOT

NASAO’s Henry Ogrodzinski, left with Michelle McEnany, Director, Office of Aviation, Iowa DOT and 2009 NASAO Chair with Congressman Leonard Boswell. (D-Iowa)

Photos by Kim Stevens

Dave Fulton, Director Texas Aviation, left with Timothy Campbell, Executive Director, Maryland Aviation Administration.

Clockwise from left: Bob Woods, Director, Aeronautics Division, Tennessee DOT, Gary Cathey, California, John Eagerton, Bureau Chief, Aeronautics Division, Alabama DOT and Randy Burdette, Director Virginia Aviation.

Victor Bird, Oklahoma with Holly Woodruff Lyons, House Aviation Subcommittee.

Richard Gossen, GCR and Ashish Solanki, Director Regional Aviation Assistance, Maryland Aviation Administration

Sessions were well attended at the 2009 NASAO Washington Legislative Conference.


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New Subcommittee Chair

a Strong Voice for Aviation

By Gary Ness

ber until 1992 when he was elected to the Senate. The Senator’s electability hat ventures through the mind is legendary in North Dakota politics of a 17-year-old on horseback, as he with his margins of victory always in looks out over the prairies of Southdouble digits. western North Dakota and realizes it’s Senator Dorgan has been a closer to the South Dakota and Monstrong voice in the Senate on Essentana boarder than it is to your own tial Air Service, having gained a lot of state capital? Transportation…it’s a experience years back when Govergood bet! nor Guy appointed him to Chair the That may well have been the Regional Air Service Committee, a case for Bryon L. Dorgan who grew committee made up of communities up in the small town of Regent, North from North Dakota, Montana and two Dakota in exactly that environment. Canadian Provinces. This committee But would he have thought that 50 demonstrated great interest in the air years later he would be one of the service provided to the upper Midwest political powers in the nation? Doubtand the neighbors to the North to ful! strengthen the commerce of that reYet, that young man from Regent gion. The Committee served as the is exactly that! As the new Subcommonitor of Essential Air Service (EAS) mittee Chairman for Aviation Operafor Montana and North Dakota. Dortions, Safety and Security, of the U.S. gan was also involved with the serSenate Committee on Commerce, vice issues to the region when NorthScience and Transportation, Senator west Airlines pilots went on strike in Dorgan (D-ND) has the opportunity to the early 70’s. shape aviation legislation that will imDuring the late 90’s, the Senator’s pact us all. efforts gave EAS funding a stable Senator Dorgan’s interest in aviafoundation durtion stems from his ing some difficult prairie upbringing, Senator Dorgan’s interest in funding times, watching aircraft fly aviation stems from his allowing an imov erhea d a nd portant air serprairie upbringing. thinking about vice link to rural transportation in America. general. Flight instructor, Kay Vogel, So, what does this mean to the an active ‘99er and Civil Air Patrol aviation community in general? We member, gave the Senator his first have as Chairman of the Subcommittaste of the freedom of flight when he tee on Aviation, a hardworking Senawas the State Tax Commissioner. tor with a very good staff, who underDorgan was appointed Commisstands the aviation world and will lissioner by North Dakota Governor Wilten to the aviation industry. liam Guy when he was 26, making Recently, the Senator related that him the youngest constitutional office the FAA Reauthorization Bill is high holder in the state’s history. He went on the agenda of the Commerce on to win two statewide reelections to Committee and he will work with that office by large margins and in Committee Chairman John Rockefel1980, was elected to the House of ler (D-WV) to complete the effort this Representatives, serving as a mem-


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Senator Byron L. Dorgan legislative session. His concerns about fair and equitable regulations in aviation will be part of the committee effort. General Aviation will have an ear in the Senate because of the background of Senator Dorgan and the aviation community can look forward to open conversation on all issues related to the industry. Senator Dorgan is a populist with the rural communities of this country on the forefront of his agenda. He has worked continuously to provide fair and affordable air service to North Dakota and you will see that same effort for the country in general. Senator Dorgan Chairs the Democratic Policy Committee and serves on four senate standing committees and fourteen subcommittees. Does responsible staffers come to mind?

Contributing writer Gary Ness is the former Director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission having served in that capacity for over 20 years.

Environmental Corner By Chuck Howe

Green Skies? Federal Government Key to Restoring Research Funding B

y now, everyone has heard would improve overall aviation fuel the terms greenhouse gas emissions efficiency by 6-12%. Everyone has and global warming! What effect does spent time in-queue waiting for that this have on the aviation industry, and thrust into travel, albeit with all enmore importantly, the people on the gines running in a very inefficient ground! Can the impact of my job style! Think of the efficiencies gained make a change in something global? at the facility with the most antiquated The aviation industry represents over control systems, especially in those 11 million jobs globally and equates to regions where weather is not always over 5% of the nation's gross domes- cooperative for flight. tic product. As a result, everything Alternative fuel types that are befrom increased effiing researched The efficiency of aircraft fuel ciency of the newest would provide has increased over 70% Boeing 787 to the a more renewduring the last 40 years state of the art air trafable resource fic control systems, all for generating contribute dramatically on a global alternative aviation fuel without affectlevel by reducing overall emissions! ing competition for feed-stocks or cul(Aviation and climate change, The tivated land. Again, it appears that Views of Aviation Industry Stake- the federal government is the key to holders - Feb, 2009). restoring the research funding necesOn February 23, 2009, Aviation sary to allow FAA and NASA to conStakeholders published views on the duct research into refining alternative Aviation Industry and Climate Change fuels and researching new types. The concept is combining the needs The overarching concept of reof national and global economy with ducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions is the aggressive goals of reducing the established in the widely recognized planet's Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Kyoto Protocol . The Kyoto Protocol is These industry leaders are committed a multi-nation agreement associated to ensuring that the impacts to global with the UN Framework Convention climate change are mitigated through on Climate Change! The focus of the considerations of continued growth Protocol is the establishment of tarand the vitality for the industry! The efficiency of aircraft fuel has increased over 70% during the last 40 years, compared to only a 15% improvement from the automotive industry! A clear statement was made regarding the need for Congress to renew this vital component of the nation's infrastructure by upgrading air traffic control systems. Back in 1999, improvements based on nearly 10-year-old technology Chuck Howe

gets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions! The point of the plan is simple reduce our consumptive nature with regards to the amount of Greenhouse Gas Emissions through how we live, travel, produce through industry, and recycle. Ultimately, how much carbon does each of our lives and business, represent at a global level! How can we reduce our reliance on carbonbased materials? The 2009 Draft US Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report (EPA - February 2009) shows a recent trend of leveling some of the consumption (2005, 2006, 2007 - Table ES-3, executive summary) toward helping to reduce the CO2 emissions related to transportation uses. This report also shows that nearly 60% of the emissions resulted from gasoline consumption for personal vehicle use; whereas the remaining 40% is split between diesel and jet fuel associated with commercial rail, trucking, and air travel. Consider your daily operations and the choices you’ve made! Were they efficient? Can there be a more effective way it can be done next time? The transportation industry, as a whole, has come forward over the last 10 years with great progress in research and development! Let's hope that the same opportunities are afforded the industry during these lean, but (hopefully) forwardthinking times!


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ROW 13-F By Kim J Stevens

Every time I fly, the window seat always calls my name! Yet, for many years I ignored the call and convinced myself that the aisle seat over the wing was the better option. I base that on two things: Page 20


Row 13-F First, most people don't know that I spent ten years as a Trooper with the State of Nebraska, with most of that time in the Executive Protection Division as a body guard for three governors. This was twenty years ago and the statistics suggested that the aisle seat over the wing was the safest place. As I recall, this bit of information was based on crash analysis. The fuselage was structurally the soundest over the wing and there had been instances of objects piercing the skin of the aircraft with unfortunate results to the person occupying the window seat. The other reason I chose the aisle seat was for some unwritten rule in business that suggested if you couldn't afford first class, you at least showed savvy by being in an aisle seat, as far forward as possible, so you could at least see first class! Now there are some practical reasons for this choice. You don't have to disturb your row mate should you have a weak bladder, and you can be first to jump up when the plane has come to a complete stop, grab your bag from the overhead compartment and...wait! Well, on my last flight I succumbed to the call! Actually, I realized I had to be true to who I really am - a window seat guy! I like to see where I'm going. But it's not just about the view, although it can be intoxicating and inspiring, it’s about the wonder of flight itself. You see, sitting in the aisle seat reduces the trip to just transportation, I might as well be on a bus! As I look out the window from 13-F, I realize I never tire of what flows below, even if we glide above a cloud layer, there is purpose, a divine design waiting to reveal itself to any who will see and understand. I value the magic of flight. It is what keeps me looking up when I'm on the ground and what draws me to life below the wing. There is one other reason that might have soured me on the aisle seat. I had a flight attendant spill "very hot coffee" on me! Along with profuse apologies, I did score a bottle of champagne! But even champagne along with fleeting thoughts of a "coffee" lawsuit can’t keep me from the window seat anymore. It is who I am.

A Matter of Tax By Nel Stubbs A Look at Aviation Taxes in the States

You may ask why you should be concerned with

taxes on aviation. Aircraft owners are always looking for ways to avoid or reduce their annual taxes and states are always looking for new ways to fund programs in their state. How your state taxes an aircraft will impact where an aircraft will be based and where revenue will be generated off of this aircraft. In most cases, the attention is focused on Sales/Use (or similar) taxes, however, this sometimes causes other taxes, such as, personal property taxes, ad valorem taxes, fuel taxes, aircraft registration fees, aircraft excise taxes, etc. to be overlooked. With all this going on do you know or understand – How your state compares to other states when it comes to taxes? How much lack of uniformity there is among the states? That taxes on aircraft can be significant and can influence where an entity will hangar/base their aircraft? That every year there is significant activity within the state legislatures to change, raise, and/or modify these taxes. Also, could your state be considered a “Gotcha State”? A “Gotcha State”, to an aircraft owner, is a state that could impose a tax on an aircraft although the aircraft owner has paid all the appropriate taxes to the state in which the aircraft is hangared. These taxes can appear as an aircraft registration or license fee that will require an owner to register the aircraft if it is in the state for more than so many days, or it could be a personal property tax that is due based on the amount of time the aircraft spends in the state. In any case, there are many cases where an aircraft owner finds themselves trying to understand why they owe taxes in more than one state. I will point out that I am not talking about the aircraft owner who is trying to evade taxes on their aircraft. Some states that are on the radar are Arizona, who has a .1% of fair market value license tax on any non-resident aircraft that is in the state for more than 90 days but less than 210 days. Missouri considers any aircraft that weighs more than 3,000 pounds to be a commercial aircraft and therefore subject to tax based on the amount of time it spends over the state after taking off or landing. Maine has a 20-day rule for non-residents, meaning that if the aircraft is in the state for more than 20 days, it will be subject to sales tax. These are just a few of the state rules that the aircraft owner needs to be aware of. If you would like to suggest a topic, please email me at and I would be more than happy to discuss it in this column.


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