Avstar Aircraft of Washington, Inc.

10415 172nd St. E., Hangar A1
Puyallup, WA  98374
office (253)770-9964
or (253)770-0120
email:  avstarair@att.net

Updates to "The county is running amok!", Part 2


What started off as a discussion of authority to install a 24-hour security area at Pierce County Airport/Thun field has turned into more.  Oh, so much more.

Click here for the initial issue, click here for the December 30, 2014 to February 16, 2015 updates and below are the updates as they have and are occurring.

Crickets.  That word sums up the responses I received from airport administration, the County Executive, and County Council concerning a compromise.  The Economic and Infrastructure Development committee of the County Council set to meet February 24 for a 'listening session' concerning the 24-hour gate policy; preparations were made by several concerned citizens and airport administration.

A few minutes after 9:00 on the morning of February 24, I arrived at the Council Chambers in final preparation for the listening session.  I was impressed by the number of business owners, as well as other airport users that came to the meeting, it looked like the pros and cons were both well represented.  That meeting can be viewed here: http://online.co.pierce.wa.us/cfapps/internet/calendar.cfm?date=02/01/15&calendar_type_cd=EVT&category_cd=&department_id=31 by clicking on February 24th's Economic and Infrastructure Development Meeting.  After opening formalities, the subject was started at 1:20 into the meeting, and lasted until approximately 80 minutes into the meeting.  As noted, the committee would accept written comments also by concerned citizens.

In the afternoon after the meeting, Dan Neil supplied his talking points as he had not been allowed enough time to speak his thoughts.  On the 25th, I sent this follow-up that included my talking points, as well as commentary about other testimony heard. Also, I did receive a few emails from the council members thanking everyone involved for their time in presenting the session

Once again, the wheels of waiting for government action were set.  I followed up with short emails to the council members about once a week, just so we wouldn't be forgotten or ignored.  At the March Tacoma Narrows Airport Advisory Commission (TNAAC) meeting, the gate issue was discussed and apparently they voted to advise the County Council, Executive, and Airport Administration to keep the gates open during business hours.  All that was needed now was a push, and Dan Neil provided that.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED!  An amendment to the Airport Rules and Regulations was proposed.  I think longer hours would be more appropriate, but nevertheless, I found this to be a workable document, and I sent a note to the Council in appreciation.  However, my concern went to the assumption this would also lead to delay of the entire process, with the amendment needing to go through committee.

On the evening of the 19th of March, the Thun Field Advisory Commission (TFAC) met for their regularly scheduled meeting.  Although Ms Wallace was unable to attend as she was out of town on training, Toby Rickman was present as the ranking representative of the Public Works and Utilities Department.  When the agenda item of discussing the gates came about, Mr. Rickman stated the amendment was in place and the vote on 2014-108s was still scheduled to be completed on the afternoon of March 24 at the Council's Meeting.  He continued with saying after passage (I like the optimism!) a press release would be made stating the gates would be open during business hours starting on March 25.  I questioned the 8:30 to 4:30 hours, and was told by Mr. Rickman the hours were stricken from the amendment and the wording was business hours.  I requested 7 until 5:30; he nodded saying that is workable.

Yesterday, March 24, the Pierce County Council met for their regular Tuesday Council meeting; on the agenda was the proposed airport rules and regulations ordinance, 2014-108s.  With the latest proposed amendment just placed last week - to keep the airport gates open during business hours - that had to be discussed and approved into the basic ordinance before that could be considered.  This latest amendment was passed, 7 to 0.  "Normal business hours' will be reviewed approximately every 6 months; likely adjusted to keep gates closed during non-daylight hours.  Common sense has prevailed!

However, as I rather expected, the ordinance (now known as 2014-108s2), has been continued until the April 14th session of the Council for final consideration.  I fully expect this to pass, but does this mean I will not pay attention?  Nope.  The council will continue to hear from me:  as April 14th nears, I will again send emails of support to the council in favor of 2014-108s2.  Further, it is our duty as taxpayers and users of the Pierce County Airports to keep our public officials appraised of our thought and desires as we move this segment of aviation forward.

This is a team effort!  As a team, I personally call out to Dan Neil of Avionics Shop, Inc, at Tacoma Narrows, who I consider a great ally as point man at TIW - THANK YOU DAN FOR YOUR WORK ON THIS PROJECT!

For all the countless others, for your work in this effort, THANK YOU ALSO!

It can't be done by one, when there are many, the work is lighter.  (A paraphrase of something I read once, my apologies to the originator!)

(Above updated information added as of 10:00 am, March 25, 2015. )

Pierce County sent out this press release late yesterday afternoon. 

(Above updated information added as of 10:30 am, March 26, 2015. )

Additional updated information will be added as it is received.