Staff recommends approval of the submitted Letter of Engagement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide and the contract with Barr Group Aerospace.
The Leesburg International Airport is one of the City of Leesburg’s most important and visible assets. In recent years this facility has been significantly expanded and upgraded in terms of appearance, safety, and physical infrastructure with the intention of making the airport attractive to commercial airline service.
At present Leesburg International Airport provides most of the services requested by the general aviation public, including those most commonly used by private recreational pilots and corporate aircraft. About a dozen firms connected to the aviation industry are located on the airport property. Aircraft stored at the Leesburg International Airport include a mixture of planes and helicopters. The airport’s total operating budget for FY 2009-2010 was $670,478.
Experts in the aviation and aerospace fields are of the opinion that the airport has the ability to attract significant economic development to the Leesburg area, and could - under the right circumstances - bring needed diversity to the local economy via employment based on the aerospace industry and U.S. Department of Defense contracts. On June 28, 2010 representatives from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Barr Group Aerospace made a presentation to the City Commission during which an approach was outlined that could be used to successfully attract a major Department of Defense (DoD) prime contractor in the aerospace industry to the Leesburg area, together with a number of smaller supporting firms. This approach is referred to as the Leesburg Enterprise Aerospace Plan, or “LEAP.”
By offering prime contractors and smaller supporting firms a combined package of incentives and support services, the City of Leesburg could make it possible for everyone concerned to work cooperatively on DoD contracts as one unified enterprise. Since the City of Leesburg is both the owner/operator of a medium-sized airport and the main provider of local utility services, the City is uniquely positioned to bring together the types of incentives and support services that are required for an Enterprise Management Program. Further enhancing Leesburg’s attractiveness to a prime contractor and its subcontractors is the City’s proximity to major transportation corridors, its ownership of a sizable amount of industrial zoned property and its ability to support high-speed internet communications through its fiber-optic network.
Achieving success in an Enterprise Management Program such as LEAP requires an interested prime contractor, a willing community (in this case Leesburg) and a training arm, which in this case will most likely be an Aerospace Business Incubator jointly operated by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide (ERAU-W) and the City of Leesburg. These three components will comprise the supporting foundation of the program.
The potential benefits of LEAP are:
The proposal to expand aviation and aerospace-related commerce in Leesburg, also known as the Leesburg Enterprise Aerospace Plan (LEAP), has three inter-related parts.
The first part involves holding a business visioning/strategic planning session with the leadership of Leesburg to ensure the major stakeholders are in alignment with their aviation and aerospace-related vision for Leesburg. The visioning session will be conducted over a two day period by representatives from ERAU-W.
The second part of the project involves having Barr Group Aerospace perform a business analysis of the aerospace–related opportunities that may be available to Leesburg (including the introduction of commercial airline service at the airport), using the outcomes developed in the visioning session, and will include research and analysis of potential firms that can support and enhance Leesburg’s aerospace-related vision. Based on the findings of Barr Group’s analysis, new start-ups and existing firms will be actively recruited to (re)locate to Leesburg.
The third part of the plan involves creating an incubator to train, educate and mentor firms once they decide to launch or (re)locate in Leesburg.
Each of these activities is addressed below.
Business Visioning/Strategic Planning Session
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will conduct a two day business visioning/strategic planning session with the leadership of Leesburg to ensure that major stakeholders are in alignment with their aerospace-related vision for Leesburg.
The output from this session will define, validate or clarify the following questions:
Vision for the future -- based on Leesburg’s unique capabilities, what is its aerospace-related vision for the future?
SWOT analysis – what are Leesburg’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats regarding its aerospace-related vision and capabilities?
Desired target market -- based on Leesburg’s vision, what types of aviation and aerospace related industries does the City want to attract?
Critical success factors (CSFs) – given Leesburg’s vision and desired target market, what four-to-six things does Leesburg need to do extremely well to achieve outrageous success?
Strategies and action items – based on the CSF’s identified above, what strategies and action items are needed to move the process forward to meet specific milestones?
Accountability and milestones – who is responsible for specific strategies and action items, and when will they be due?
Definition of success – what does success look like at some specified point in the future?
Qualification criteria – what criteria will be used to admit potential start-ups to the incubator?
Budget – what funds and resources will be needed?
Business Opportunity Analysis and Solicitation
Barr Group Aerospace will use the information produced in the visioning session to conduct a business analysis of aerospace–related opportunities that may be available to Leesburg. The business analysis will include research and analysis of potential firms that can support and enhance Leesburg’s aerospace–related vision. Using the resources and incentives that are available to the City to apply in attracting new aerospace businesses to the community, Barr Group Aerospace will actively solicit companies to (re)locate to Leesburg. Barr Group Aerospace will also evaluate the viability and sustainability of commercial airline service at the Leesburg International Airport, and determine what airlines may be a good “fit” for the Leesburg market.
Aviation and Aerospace Business Incubator
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will cooperate with the City to plan and establish an aerospace business incubator to recruit, foster, educate, and train the aviation and aerospace-related businesses identified above. Initially, the role of the incubator will be two-fold. The first role will be to educate and mentor start-ups on all aspects of planning, financing, marketing, launching, and growing a successful aviation or aerospace-related business. Potential incubator start-ups will be assessed using a screening process to ensure that only the most qualified candidates are admitted into the incubator program. The second role of the incubator will be to assist existing businesses by developing and delivering training and education programs to meet specific workforce needs.
1. Approve execution of the Letter of Engagement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide for the services described in the attached Statement of Work, and approve execution of the contract with Barr Group Aerospace for the deliverables outlined within the contract; or
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
The cost to have ERAU-W conduct the two day visioning session and provide the other deliverables will be $15,000.00
The initial retainer fee due to Barr Group Aerospace upon execution of the contract is $10,000.00. The company will be compensated $20,000.00 following the successful completion and acceptance by the City of a commercial airline service analysis. An additional $20,000.00 will be paid to BGA following the successful completion and acceptance by the City of a Business Opportunity Analysis. Separate and apart from the preceding amounts, Barr Group Aerospace will be paid $25,000.00 for each 3-month period of activity spent actively soliciting and recruiting aerospace industries to Leesburg as outlined within the terms of the contract, exclusive of the three months immediately following execution of the contract.
Funding for this project of $90,000 will need to come from Fund Balance. A budget adjustment will be forthcoming and included with the fourth quarter budget adjustments.
Prepared by: ______________________
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Advertised: ____Not Required ______
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Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. _____JB___________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _001-1821-542-49-20__
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
Available _______ $90,000_________