Aviation Board Hears About Self-Serve Fuel Option At Airport

May 14, 2024 at 9:22 p.m.
Robert LaFayette (on screen) gives the Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners updates on several Warsaw Municipal Airport projects on Tuesday. Pictured (seated, L to R) are Airport Manager Nick King, Board President Jay Rigdon, Vice President John Yingling and Secretary Gene Zale. Not pictured but present is Board member Dan Robinson. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union
Robert LaFayette (on screen) gives the Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners updates on several Warsaw Municipal Airport projects on Tuesday. Pictured (seated, L to R) are Airport Manager Nick King, Board President Jay Rigdon, Vice President John Yingling and Secretary Gene Zale. Not pictured but present is Board member Dan Robinson. Photo by David Slone, Times-Union

By DAVID L. SLONE Managing Editor

Fuel sales at the Warsaw Municipal Airport continue on the incline and Airport Manager Nick King would like to help see that growth continue by offering a self-serve option.
During the Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting Tuesday, King said one of his big projects that he would really like to try to get accomplished this summer is self-serve fuel.
“The airport closes at 7, and as you guys know from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it’s light out until 10:30 or 11 o’clock, so how many of the pilots are we missing in self-serve fuel sales?” he said. “We can’t set the price high enough to pay somebody to be on staff to go fuel those aircraft, so installing a self-serve system just makes sense.”
He said there would be a one-time upfront cost, but after that it would be some maintenance and “hopefully some increase in revenue from increased fuel sales.”
King is working with a few vendors to put together a request for proposals to bring to the board.
“We’re looking at the north side of the main ramp, installing probably a 1,000- to 1,500-gallon above-ground tank,” he said.
He’s also looking at maybe building a small storage building that would be explosion-proof to store fuel trucks inside. The building also would serve as an electrical hub for the new self-serve fueling station. There would be security cameras in place, as well as a number of Indiana Department of Environmental Management-required safety precautions.
King hopes to have a preliminary idea of what the self-serve fueling station would look like by July. The Warsaw Street Department has agreed to do a lot of the concrete work for the buildings, which would save the airport some costs.
Robert LaFayette, CHA section manager aviation planning, presented a few updates on airport projects to the board and presented them with one invoice.
On the runway 27 obstruction mitigation (AEP power line lowering) project, he said the project is moving along and they’re still participating in biweekly calls.
“We are pushing them on costs. They are putting together their bid package. They want to do it all in one go, so we’re still trying to get an understanding of where the bid package is and what the costs associated with the procurement of those materials is going to be, just to see if there’s been any fluctuations from the original cost estimates of the project,” LaFayette said.
The project - which has taken over 40 years to make happen - includes lowering the electrical power lines to the east of the east/west runway. Federal grant dollars are paying for the approximate $7 million project.
LaFayette said AEP is still planning for a late summer/early fall 2024 construction, with completion still planned for this year.
“If you remember, last time they gave an update, we did move back some of the right-of-way work to remove the trees for the bat season. It shouldn’t impact any of the schedule, it should actually save us a little bit of money,” he stated.
On the runway 9-27 safety area project, LaFayette said they went through a “major” back and forth with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the RSA (runway safety area) study.
“We completely revised the study per those conversations with the FAA. We have made those revisions. We submitted the final draft to Nick before submitting to the FAA, so our next steps are incorporating final comments and getting everything into the FAA hands and then set up a meeting with the Chicago AVO to go over those findings,” he said.
The RSA study was focused on decoupling the runway safety areas for 1836 and 9-27. He said there was a lot of back and forth between CHA and the FAA.
“We found the airport not to be in non-compliance, but there are still some things that we need to fix. So we basically did revise the study to reflect those conversations that we had, not just with the Chicago AVO, but with the Great Lakes FAA Region as well,” he said.
For that, LaFayette presented the board an invoice from CHA. The amount was $23,742.10, with the local share of that being $1,187.11. The board unanimously accepted paying the invoice.
The study is 148 pages.
Moving on to taxiway E-1, LaFayette said Phend & Brown is proposing to start construction in July. He said they have proposed an alternate approach to pavement construction, and CHA is currently reviewing that and working with Phend & Brown on reconciling any questions that they have.
At the April 10 meeting, the Board of Aviation Commissioners awarded the Warsaw Municipal Airport taxiway E-1 rehabilitation project to Phend & Brown, Milford, for $1,242,513. A $2 million state grant is paying for the project.
On behalf of the board, CHA is going to be performing the duties of the construction administration and inspection services with material testing, which also was approved at the April meeting.
Finally, on the taxiway B rehabilitation, LaFayette said they did submit the grant for the BIL AIG (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Airport Infrastructure Grant) for the design portion of the project. He said they did receive a couple questions from the FAA that they are working to reconcile now.
King asked the board if any of them could remember the last time taxiway B was rehabbed. The taxiway runs north/south. King thought it was at least 30 years, but no one else could remember off hand how long it’s been.
Board President Jay Rigdon said, “Based upon this projection, it looks like we’re going to have a lot of activity the second half of this year, between the rehab of the taxi lane and the power lines. Do you think you have the anticipated impact on flight activities, if any, under control? Are you going to need additional help or do you think you’ve got a good handle on how that might affect flight operations?”
King said he thought they had a fairly good handle on it.
“We’ve been working with all of our large stakeholders, the businesses that utilize the airport the most,” King said. “Luckily, the taxi lane going down is actually not going to affect the corporate flight schedule very much. So their aircraft is going down for maintenance in July and therefore ... their aircraft won’t be there, they’ll be somewhere else anyway. That timing lined up pretty well.”
King said they’re still working on the impact from the power line lowering project, but didn’t think actual operations would be affected for that many days.
The last business before the board was a hangar sale. Hangar 22 currently is owned by Dave Goshert and R. Craig Blaschke. King said Goshert is selling his half of the hangar lease to Monty Bolinger. The board approved the right of first refusal for the hangar.

Fuel sales at the Warsaw Municipal Airport continue on the incline and Airport Manager Nick King would like to help see that growth continue by offering a self-serve option.
During the Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting Tuesday, King said one of his big projects that he would really like to try to get accomplished this summer is self-serve fuel.
“The airport closes at 7, and as you guys know from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it’s light out until 10:30 or 11 o’clock, so how many of the pilots are we missing in self-serve fuel sales?” he said. “We can’t set the price high enough to pay somebody to be on staff to go fuel those aircraft, so installing a self-serve system just makes sense.”
He said there would be a one-time upfront cost, but after that it would be some maintenance and “hopefully some increase in revenue from increased fuel sales.”
King is working with a few vendors to put together a request for proposals to bring to the board.
“We’re looking at the north side of the main ramp, installing probably a 1,000- to 1,500-gallon above-ground tank,” he said.
He’s also looking at maybe building a small storage building that would be explosion-proof to store fuel trucks inside. The building also would serve as an electrical hub for the new self-serve fueling station. There would be security cameras in place, as well as a number of Indiana Department of Environmental Management-required safety precautions.
King hopes to have a preliminary idea of what the self-serve fueling station would look like by July. The Warsaw Street Department has agreed to do a lot of the concrete work for the buildings, which would save the airport some costs.
Robert LaFayette, CHA section manager aviation planning, presented a few updates on airport projects to the board and presented them with one invoice.
On the runway 27 obstruction mitigation (AEP power line lowering) project, he said the project is moving along and they’re still participating in biweekly calls.
“We are pushing them on costs. They are putting together their bid package. They want to do it all in one go, so we’re still trying to get an understanding of where the bid package is and what the costs associated with the procurement of those materials is going to be, just to see if there’s been any fluctuations from the original cost estimates of the project,” LaFayette said.
The project - which has taken over 40 years to make happen - includes lowering the electrical power lines to the east of the east/west runway. Federal grant dollars are paying for the approximate $7 million project.
LaFayette said AEP is still planning for a late summer/early fall 2024 construction, with completion still planned for this year.
“If you remember, last time they gave an update, we did move back some of the right-of-way work to remove the trees for the bat season. It shouldn’t impact any of the schedule, it should actually save us a little bit of money,” he stated.
On the runway 9-27 safety area project, LaFayette said they went through a “major” back and forth with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the RSA (runway safety area) study.
“We completely revised the study per those conversations with the FAA. We have made those revisions. We submitted the final draft to Nick before submitting to the FAA, so our next steps are incorporating final comments and getting everything into the FAA hands and then set up a meeting with the Chicago AVO to go over those findings,” he said.
The RSA study was focused on decoupling the runway safety areas for 1836 and 9-27. He said there was a lot of back and forth between CHA and the FAA.
“We found the airport not to be in non-compliance, but there are still some things that we need to fix. So we basically did revise the study to reflect those conversations that we had, not just with the Chicago AVO, but with the Great Lakes FAA Region as well,” he said.
For that, LaFayette presented the board an invoice from CHA. The amount was $23,742.10, with the local share of that being $1,187.11. The board unanimously accepted paying the invoice.
The study is 148 pages.
Moving on to taxiway E-1, LaFayette said Phend & Brown is proposing to start construction in July. He said they have proposed an alternate approach to pavement construction, and CHA is currently reviewing that and working with Phend & Brown on reconciling any questions that they have.
At the April 10 meeting, the Board of Aviation Commissioners awarded the Warsaw Municipal Airport taxiway E-1 rehabilitation project to Phend & Brown, Milford, for $1,242,513. A $2 million state grant is paying for the project.
On behalf of the board, CHA is going to be performing the duties of the construction administration and inspection services with material testing, which also was approved at the April meeting.
Finally, on the taxiway B rehabilitation, LaFayette said they did submit the grant for the BIL AIG (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Airport Infrastructure Grant) for the design portion of the project. He said they did receive a couple questions from the FAA that they are working to reconcile now.
King asked the board if any of them could remember the last time taxiway B was rehabbed. The taxiway runs north/south. King thought it was at least 30 years, but no one else could remember off hand how long it’s been.
Board President Jay Rigdon said, “Based upon this projection, it looks like we’re going to have a lot of activity the second half of this year, between the rehab of the taxi lane and the power lines. Do you think you have the anticipated impact on flight activities, if any, under control? Are you going to need additional help or do you think you’ve got a good handle on how that might affect flight operations?”
King said he thought they had a fairly good handle on it.
“We’ve been working with all of our large stakeholders, the businesses that utilize the airport the most,” King said. “Luckily, the taxi lane going down is actually not going to affect the corporate flight schedule very much. So their aircraft is going down for maintenance in July and therefore ... their aircraft won’t be there, they’ll be somewhere else anyway. That timing lined up pretty well.”
King said they’re still working on the impact from the power line lowering project, but didn’t think actual operations would be affected for that many days.
The last business before the board was a hangar sale. Hangar 22 currently is owned by Dave Goshert and R. Craig Blaschke. King said Goshert is selling his half of the hangar lease to Monty Bolinger. The board approved the right of first refusal for the hangar.

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