Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/31/2005 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSSSB 16(TRA) Out of Committee
Moved SB 133 Out of Committee
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
                 SB 133-AVIATION ADVISORY BOARD                                                                             
CHAIR HUGGINS announced SB 133 to be up for consideration.                                                                      
KIP  KNUDSON, Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of Transportation                                                               
and  Public  Facilities  (DOT/PF)  testified in  support  of  the                                                               
Aviation Advisory Board.  He maintained it has  been an effective                                                               
policy  tool  since  inception. Aviation  industry  and  interest                                                               
groups  recommended  the  formation  of  the  board  to  Governor                                                               
Murkowski.  Since  formation,  the  board is  renewed  each  year                                                               
through  an  administrative  order. The  commissioner  of  DOT/PF                                                               
recommends the board become a permanent group.                                                                                  
1:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGGINS asked  Mr. Knudson  whether the  Aviation Advisory                                                               
Board   was   in   existence  prior   to   Governor   Murkowski's                                                               
MR. KNUDSON replied no.                                                                                                         
SENATOR  COWDERY asked  the purpose  of  having the  commissioner                                                               
consult with the board regarding hiring.                                                                                        
MR. KNUDSON  answered the  board would like  to be  involved with                                                               
the hiring of airport directors.                                                                                                
SENATOR COWDERY inquired  whether the system worked  prior to the                                                               
board being involved.                                                                                                           
MR. KNUDSON responded there was  a quick turnover of directors in                                                               
Anchorage for eight or nine years.                                                                                              
SENATOR COWDERY indicated  that might have been due to  a lack of                                                               
qualifications by persons holding the job.                                                                                      
MR. KNUDSON neglected  to comment. He reiterated  the board would                                                               
like to be consulted regarding the hiring of airport directors.                                                                 
SENATOR COWDERY  asserted the hiring of  airport directors should                                                               
be an independent decision of the commissioner.                                                                                 
1:40:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HUGGINS understood any advise from the board was advisory.                                                                
MR. KNUDSON agreed. The board has no veto ability.                                                                              
SENATOR THERRIAULT suggested  the Governor's Administration would                                                               
welcome the opinion of the board.                                                                                               
MR.  KNUDSON said  it  is the  opinion of  the  Governor and  the                                                               
commissioner that  there are critical infrastructure  elements at                                                               
stake and the  aviation communities need to be  involved with the                                                               
CHAIR HUGGINS asked whether the Governor was in support.                                                                        
MR. KNUDSON said yes.                                                                                                           
SENATOR FRENCH stated  the purpose of the board is  to comment on                                                               
the selection of the two individuals  who will run either the Ted                                                               
Stevens  Airport or  the  Fairbanks Airport.  He  inquired as  to                                                               
their other duties.                                                                                                             
MR. KNUDSON  admitted the  vetting of the  candidates is  a small                                                               
part. The board is used to  review and discuss present and future                                                               
1:42:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  KNUDSON advised  the committee  the board  has met  10 times                                                               
since creation.                                                                                                                 
CHAIR HUGGINS  commented Anchorage and Fairbanks  are represented                                                               
and   wanted   to  know   if   other   communities  are   seeking                                                               
MR.  KNUDSON  replied  no. Anchorage  and  Fairbanks  have  large                                                               
facilities in the  communities. Board members are  from the south                                                               
central region.                                                                                                                 
1:44:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HUGGINS  asked  whether   board  members  should  have  an                                                               
aviation background.                                                                                                            
MR.  KNUDSON  replied both  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks mayors  did                                                               
chose people with significant aviation backgrounds.                                                                             
1:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COWDERY asked him how  many recommendations the board has                                                               
MR. KNUDSON  replied one formal  resolution was forwarded  to the                                                               
1:47:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT commented the  Aviation Advisory Board members                                                               
receive no  pay but  are allowed travel  expenses yet  the fiscal                                                               
note is  zero. He  asked whether it  was previously  submitted in                                                               
the FY 2006 budget.                                                                                                             
MR. KNUDSON  responded yes. The  total amount is $20,000  for the                                                               
SENATOR FRENCH asked where the meetings were held.                                                                              
MR. KNUDSON advised they were rotated throughout the state.                                                                     
CHAIR HUGGINS asked whether the  board had any oversight with the                                                               
Medallion Flyer Program.                                                                                                        
MR. KNUDSON advised  that program is not included  in the mission                                                               
statement.  The current  role  of the  advisory  board is  mainly                                                               
airport associated.                                                                                                             
1:49:34 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN   CASANOVAS,  executive   director,  Alaska   Air  Carriers                                                               
Association, testified  in support  of SB 133  and said  it would                                                               
create a  positive impact  on air  carriers operating  in Alaska.                                                               
The  Aviation   Advisory  Board  provides  support,   which  will                                                               
increase  the aviation  business,  promote  aviation safety,  and                                                               
provide for better policy making.                                                                                               
1:51:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CASANOVAS  added the board has  discussed multiple priorities                                                               
in their meetings.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  HUGGINS   asked  whether   aviation  insurance   has  been                                                               
MS. CASANOVAS surmised the subject has been discussed.                                                                          
MR. KNUDSON advised  air carrier insurance has not  been a direct                                                               
1:54:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   HUGGINS   commented   there  were   different   insurance                                                               
challenges between Part 121 and Part 135 operators.                                                                             
MR. KNUDSON advised the smaller carriers suffer the squeeze.                                                                    
MS. CASANOVAS  added insurance costs  are a continuing  issue for                                                               
the carriers. Some underwriters give  a cost break if the carrier                                                               
participates in the Medallion Program.                                                                                          
1:56:05 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM  GEORGE, representative  for the  Aircraft Owners  and Pilots                                                               
Association, testified in support of  SB 133. Making the Aviation                                                               
Advisory  Board permanent  provides a  balanced approach  for the                                                               
aviation industry to work with the Department of Transportation.                                                                
1:59:03 PM                                                                                                                    
RUSS PAINTER,  president, Alaska Airmen's  Association, testified                                                               
in support of SB 133.                                                                                                           
2:01:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COWDERY  moved SB  133  from  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and attached zero  fiscal note(s). There being no                                                               
objection, the motion carried.                                                                                                  

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