TUESDAY, JULY 2, 2002, 4:30 PM
YUBA COUNTY COURTHOUSE, 215 Fifth Street, Third Floor, Marysville

Please attend and let your opinions be heard.  The Committee will decide at this meeting whether to put the item before the full Board of Supervisors for action.

This meeting is to inform the Board Public and Finance Committee of the comments from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Airport Engineer concerning the "racing concept" that was presented to the committee on May 28, 2002.  The Board Committee presentation package included the following memorandum. 


July 2, 2002


FROM: MARY A. HANSEN, Airport Manager

(Discussion continued from May 28, 2002 – Original Subject: Approval of a Yuba County Airport/Cart Racing Proposal Feasibility Study)

On May 28, 2002, the subject proposal was brought before your committee with the intent to discuss proceeding to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration of conducting a feasibility study to determine the potential economic benefits for holding an annual car racing event at the Yuba County Airport and to install permanent car racing facilities at the airport. The Airport Manager was requested to obtain an opinion from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding the proposals.

The following are general comments received by email from Racio R. Cavole, Airports Compliance Specialist, Federal Aviation Administration, Western Region Office, Burlingame:

"We've reviewed the proposed closure of the airport to allow for auto
racing, and we do not concur, nor support, the total closure of the airport
for a non-aeronautical event to take place. I am not familiar with the
circumstances surrounding other airports in other parts of the country that
allow total closure of the airport to permit such activity, however, those
locations do not have a bearing on this proposal. Each case is reviewed
and a determination is rendered based upon its own merits.

We can appreciate Yuba County's intention to provide activities directed
toward helping it's residents, however, the airport, supported by federal
funding, is geared for activities aeronautical in nature, bringing in
revenue specifically for the airport. Also, potential damage to taxiways
or runways may impact airport operations beyond any anticipated timeframe
associated with the auto racing activities. We, therefore, recommend that
this activity be located elsewhere.

Thank you for an opportunity to review the county's proposal. If you want
an official letterhead response, please provide your request for our review
in writing and we will respond."

Racior R. Cavole
Airports Compliance Specialist

Further, informal discussions with the Airport’s master plan consultant and review of the attached Chapter 4, Obligations of Airport Owners, Airport Compliance Requirements, Order 5190.6A, and Part V, Assurances, approved by the Board of Supervisors each time a federal airport grant is accepted, indicate that the FAA would specifically address the following in a more detailed review of the actual activities to be potential conducted:

The Yuba County Airport has been funded in the past by a combination of airport user fees, airport tenant fees, County funds, and FAA and Division of Aeronautics airport improvement grants. As such, the Airport, in its entirety, is required to remain fully available for public-use by general aviation aircraft. Without FAA approval of these activities, the County could be found in noncompliance with its grant assurances. The FAA could choose to terminate grant funding to the airport and/or seek County reimbursement of grant funds expended at the Airport over the past 20 years based on Grant Assurance No. 5, Preserving Rights and Powers, Assurance No. 19, Operation and Maintenance, and Assurance No. 29, Airport Layout Plan.

Assurance No. 5 (b)

It will not sell, lease, encumber, or otherwise transfer or dispose of any part of its title or other interests in the property shown on Exhibit A to this application or, for a noise compatibility program project, that portion of the property upon which as Federal funds have been expended, for the duration of the terms, conditions, and assurances in the grant agreement without approval by the Secretary.

Assurance No. 19 (a)

It will suitably operate and maintain the airport and all facilities thereon or connected therewith, with due regard to climatic and flood conditions. Any proposal to temporarily close the airport for non aeronautical purposes must first be approved by the Secretary. The airport and all facilities which are necessary to serve the aeronautical users of the airport, other than facilities owned or controlled by the United States, shall be operated at all times in a safe and serviceable condition and in accordance with the minimum standards as may be required or prescribed by applicable Federal, state, and local agencies for maintenance and operation. It will not cause or permit any activity or action thereon which would interfere with its use for airport purposes.

Assurance No. 29 (a)

It will keep up to date at all times an airport layout plan of the airport showing (1) boundaries of the airport and all proposed additions thereto, together with the boundaries of all offsite areas owned or controlled by the sponsor for airport purposed and proposed additions thereto; (2) the location and nature of all existing and proposed airport facilities and structures (such as runways, taxiways, aprons, terminal buildings, hangars and roads), including all prposed extensions and reductions of existing airport facilities; and (3) the location of all existing and proposed non aviation areas and of all existing improvements thereon. Such airport layout plans and each amendment, revision, or modification thereof, shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary which approval shall be evidenced by the signature of a duly authorized representative of the Secretary on the face of the airport layout plan.

In addition, Federal Aviation Administration Order 5190.6A, Airport Compliance Requirements, 4-8(e) (2) applies:

Closing for Special Events. Section 511 (a)(3) of the AAIA requires that any proposal to temporarily close the airport for non aeronautical purposes must be approved by the FAA,. For example, an airport developed or improved with Federal funds may not be closed for the purpose of using the airport facilities for special outdoor events, such as sports car races, county fairs, parades, etc., without FAA approval.

If the FAA were to approve the concept, the County would be required to receive fair market rent for the use of the airport property and the revenue would have to be used for airport purposes:

Assurance No. 25

If the airport is under the control of a public agency, all revenues generated by the airport and any local taxes on aviation fuel established after December 30, 1987, will be expended by it for the capital or operating costs of the airport; the local airport system; or other local facilities which are owned or operated by the owner or operator of the airport and directly and substantially related to the actual air transportation of passengers or property; or for noise mitigation purposes on or off the airport.

The Airport’s engineer, Shutt Moen Associates, has provided some very specific concerns and information in the attached letter that generally reinforces the above concerns based on their experience in similar nonaviation activities.

This office has received a number of emails and telephone calls concerning objections to racing on the airport, specifically from the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Support Network, local airport operators, and local pilots. Interested tenants and individuals have indicated their attendance at this committee meeting to further express their concerns and comments.

County Counsel is also prepared to address the legal concerns of the committee related to the owners of the corporate area property and their egress and ingress access as their property runs along the same lines as the proposed permanent drivers training facility.


copy: Airport Operators & Tenants

  UPDATE . . . May 28, 2002. . . The Public and Finance Committee, composed of Supervisors Al Amaro and Mary Jane Griego (on behalf of Don Shrader), was very concerned with the proposal and its affect on aviation activities.  Because the FAA would be a deciding factor, the committee directed the Airport Manager to discuss the concept with FAA and attempt to get a letter that would at least give the committee some idea of the issues that may be involved and what other problems that could arise due to the federal grant assurances now in place.  One information is obtained from the FAA, another committee meeting will be scheduled.  Each of you will be informed when for your attendance and input.  Each of you are invited to please pass on your thoughts and concerns to the Airport Manager.  Many are talking to each other and some of you are getting me informed.  My door is open... Please use it.  Or, email me....that works great also............M Hansen
  The Finance and Administration Committee of Yuba County will discuss the subject of racing at the Yuba County Airport at a public meeting on Tuesday, 12:15 pm, Courthouse, 215 Fifth Street, Third Floor, Marysville.....PILOTS ARE URGED TO ATTEND TO EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS AND COMMENTS ..... This meeting is to determine the need to present a proposal before the full Board of Supervisors for approval of securing a consultant to prepare a feasibility study on the subject.  This meeting would occur in 2 weeks.