Staff recommends ratification of City Manager’s authorization for an emergency purchase to Robinson Aviation (RVA), Inc. for equipment repairs at the Leesburg International Airport control tower damaged from lightning for a total amount of $46,923.30.
On March 31, 2011 Leesburg International Airport experienced a severe lighting strike that caused significant damage to the airport’s tower communications systems, weather systems, power generation system, and various areas of the runway lighting system. This lightning strike directly impacted the safety of aircraft arriving and departing Leesburg. With the support of specific contractors and vendors, air traffic operations were able to resume operations within 24 to 30 hours after the lightning strike.
As for the communications systems, the lightning damaged the air traffic control tower’s voice switch system. This system interfaces the radio systems, the direct communications lines with the FAA Approach Control Center, and other communications services; and is the primary communications between the pilots and the air traffic controllers. Without this voice switch system, controllers are extremely limited in safely directing air traffic into and out of the airport.
Additionally, the control tower’s weather displays were damaged by the lightning strike. These displays provide vital weather information that is used to inform pilots of weather conditions on the airfield as well as providing pilots Altimeter readings required for safely landing the aircraft.
The City immediately contacted Robinson Aviation (RVA), inc., who originally installed the control tower’s communications and weather systems back in 2006 when the control tower was built, and who currently maintains these systems. Upon notification, RVA were on site to evaluate the damage and restore air traffic control communications. Additionally, RVA shipped and installed temporary voice switch console equipment and weather displays until permanent replacement equipment could be procured, delivered, installed, tested and operational for air traffic control. Within 24 hours of the lighting strike, RVA had communications in place for air traffic control operations. And within 30 days of the lightning strike, RVA worked with the specific vendors in acquiring the permanent replacement equipment; delivered and installed the replacement items; and had the control tower communications and weather systems 100% operational. This feat normally takes up to 60-75 days to achieve.
The City Manager authorized an emergency purchase with Robinson Aviation (RVA), Inc. from Oklahoma City, OK. As previously stated RVA was able to get the critical equipment up and running within 24 hours of the strike.
During this same lightning strike, the airport suffered damage to the electric access gates. These repairs totaling $12,586.56 were made by Smartwatch Security & Sound, LLC. This purchase is within the City Managers approval authority.
The City’s Risk Manager is pursuing an insurance claim to offset some of the costs related to damage from the lighting strike. The City does have a $25,000.00 deductable that will not be recoverable.
1. Ratify the emergency purchase authorized by the City Manager; or
2. Such alternative action as the Commission may deem appropriate
The fiscal impact from this lighting strike will be repairs totaling $59,509.86. Should the City recover all damages less the deductable from our insurance carrier, the net fiscal impact will be $34,509.86. Currently, the Airport Operating budget is absorbing the additional expense and Finance will monitor throughout the rest of the year to see if a budget adjustment is necessary.
Prepared by: _Mike Thornton________
Attachments: Yes____ No __X___
Advertised: ____Not Required __X___
Attorney Review : Yes___ No ____
Reviewed by: Dept. Head ________
Finance Dept. ______JB__________
Deputy C.M. ___________________
City Manager ___________________
Account No. _001-1821-542.46-30__
Project No. ___________________
WF No. ______________________
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG RATIFYING THE CITY MANAGER EMERGENCY PURCHASE AUTHORIZATION TO ROBINSON AVIATION (RIVA), INC. FOR EMERGENCY REPAIRS TO AIRPORT EQUIPMENT DAMAGED IN A LIGHTNING STRIKE; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF LEESBURG, FLORIDA:
THAT the City Commission hereby ratifies an emergency purchase authorized by the City Manager to Robinson Aviation (RVA), Inc. for repairs to equipment in the Leesburg International Airport control tower necessary for the safe operation of the control tower and air traffic.
THAT this resolution shall become effective immediately.
PASSED AND ADOPTED by the City Commission of the City of Leesburg, Florida, at a regular meeting held the 27th day of June 2011