Cline Shale Boom May Give New Wings To San Angelo Regional Airport
For many San Angelo area jet setters, running out to Mathis Field and hopping on a plane to Las Vegas, Denver or just Dallas would make life a little more appealing, and the City of San Angelo currently is working to improve on the air travel options available to its citizens.
With the advent of major drilling operations in the Cline Shale region, the local airport may be poised to take advantage of the need for improved services that would allow energy-company personnel with business in the area more travel options to reach San Angelo.
Construction crews can be seen working toward the completion of several improvements at the San Angelo Regional Airport, and today the City Council will consider a raft of proposals dealing with businesses at the airport, and increasing recruitment of another air carrier to connect the city to more air destinations.
Today’s agenda lists consideration of resolutions that will put Hertz Rent-a-Car in the driver’s seat for auto rentals and lease the building at 8490 Hangar Road to Ranger Aviation, who are expanding their current operations.
Also listed on the agenda is Task Order No.25
According to the memorandum accompanying the agenda:
The Airport staff has received a request from city management to concentrate on a different approach to air service recruitment. Under the airport’s current RFQ, staff has asked KSA Engineers to assemble a team to address this topic. KSA Engineers has created Task Order No. 25 which will include the following:
Provide air service marketing plan including development of a marketing strategy to, if possible, attract new or additional commercial service aviation activity to San Angelo. This effort will update, and build upon, previous efforts and will tailor an approach that will capitalize on San Angelo’s unique position in relation to the development of the Cline Shale.
Additionally, this effort will request an extension of the Small Community Air Service Development Grant.
Staff submitted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) No. AP-1-10 Architectural & Engineering Services, in November 2009. KSA Engineers was selected and an Agreement was entered by City Council on May 4, 2010. The selection process met the standards and guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular 150/5100-14 – Architectural, Engineering, and Planning Consultant Services for Airport Grant Projects.
Financial Impact: The Cost for KSA Task Order No. 25 is $79,825. This figure represents a not to exceed amount.
According to the information, KSA Engineers will review and update existing materials to formulate an up-to-date plan for attracting new or additional commercial-service aviation activity, and they will be looking toward an airport in North Dakota for inspiration.
The memo states that a consultant team and SJT leadership (SJT is the abbreviated ICAO designation for Mathis) will be taking a trip to Minot, ND to check out operations at their airport (MOT) and assess the market similarities and differences in order to help the San Angelo effort, as that city finds itself in similar circumstances thanks to an energy boom in their area.
To fully understand the impact of oil and gas development on a region, the consultant team and SJT leadership will visit Minot, North Dakota to assess market similarities and differences they have with the Bakken Shale play. An initial review of operational data for the Minot International Airport (MOT), supplemented by conversations with MOT airport staff, indicates SJT may be progressing in a manner similar to what was experienced by MOT.
Also included in the Task Order is a provision to work on a Small Community Air Service Development (SCASD) Grant, which will expire in December.
SCASD grants are designed to help small communities address air service and airfare issue through the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The consultant team will work with partners to oversee and coordinate an effort to secure the grant’s extension.
Update from the Council Chambers:
City council this morning unanimously passed all items on the consent agenda, including those pertaining to the airport. The proposed items have been given the green light.