Airline Seeks Larger Tulsa Presence

Frontier Airlines has decided it wanted a more permanent Tulsa presence.
As a result, the Tulsa Airport Authority and its financing trusts approved that airline’s decision at its December meeting.
Frontier had been subleasing ticket counter space from American Airlines since it began serving Tulsa.
Now it will lease 2,283 square feet of that space directly from the airport as American Airlines reduced it space by that amount.
The new lease means more money for the airport as Frontier signs on as a non-signatory airline at the rate of $65.67 or about $50,000 more per year to operate Tulsa International Airport.
American leased the space as a signatory airline at the current rate of $43.78 per square foot annually.
The extra money may be needed for snow removal if a harsh winter is experienced.
Last February the airport staff figured — based on history — that it might have to clear as much as 14 inches of snow from airport roads leading to the terminal and other facilities.
Because of the recent heavy snowfall,the current total is already at the 13-inch mark.
Only an inch more and the contract with G&G Lawn and Landscaping, Inc. would have been out of its depth.
The contract let last year was for up to $158,119 to be paid on an inch-by-inch basis.
With winter still formally to arrive, the authority added a precautionary eight inches to the contract for an additional $90,000.
The G&G contract does not cover snow removal on the runways, taxiways and ramps, which is done by airport personnel, or airport parking lot, the responsibility of American Parking, the operator.
Snow already has been a factor at the airport.
Operations were hindered for a short time by two snow-related incidents involving private airplanes that were diverted to the main runway, Jeff Mulder, airports director, said.
The two incidents were not related to each other, but happened within a 15-minute period.
One plane tried to use a closed taxiway when leaving the runway, while the other turned too tightly onto a taxiway and went off into the snow.
The diversion was caused when chunks of ice being cleared from the short north-south runway on the west side of Tulsa International went flying into directional signs. Under Federal Aviation Administration rules when the signs don’t light, planes can’t land.
In a series of actions, the authority closed out two noise abatement contracts at $126,220 less than the original contract amount because homeowners elected not to have some work done and a reduction in the amount of materials needed.
Jeff Hough, deputy airports director for engineering, told the authority that of 1,628 properties eligible for the noise abatement program work has been complete on 631 of which 510 or 81 percent received sound attenuation work, 66 or 10 percent sold the air rights over their properties, 50 or 8 percent sought assistance in selling their property and only five properties, 1 percent were acquired under the program.
Hough said 131 additional homes are now under contract for sound attenuation work and it is expected to add another 200 homes with funds presently available.
Over the next five fiscal years it is estimated it will take $36.3 million, most of it in federal funding, to complete the program.
The FAA is requiring that noise impact around Tulsa International be studied again and new contour lines drawn, Hough said.
Airlines reported boarding 131,339 passengers at Tulsa International during November, less than in October and the previous November, but for the 11-month period the number of boarding passengers has increased.
The airlines also moved 5,507 tons of freight and mail through Tulsa International during November, more than a month and year earlier.

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