Gate 1

A PowerPoint graphic of the new sign that is going to be constructed and completed later this year near Gate 1 at SBD Airport with major funding provided by Unical.

Members of the San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA) gathered via videoconference on Wednesday, July 22, to elect new officers for the current fiscal year.

The positions up for election were president, vice-president and secretary. Loma Linda City Councilmember Rhodes Rigsby nominated Mayor Frank Navarro from the city of Colton for the role of president, followed by a unanimous vote of approval.

Things became, as the city of San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia put it, “awkward” when Valdivia was nominated for the role of vice-president by Rigsby and Highland Mayor Pro Tem Penny Lilburn was nominated by Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe. Lilburn’s nomination, however, failed to get a second and Valdivia was voted in as vice-president.

Rowe then nominated Lilburn to continue in her current role as secretary. City of San Bernardino Councilmember Theodore Sanchez then made a motion to nominate Rigsby. Again, with no second for Lilburn, Rigsby was voted in as the new secretary for SBIAA.

Following the conclusion of the elections, the gavel was virtually handed by now Former-President Valdivia to newly-elected Navarro, with Valdivia now in the vice president’s role.

Members then approved a contract for construction of a new airport sign that will be built at Gate 1 south of Mill Street on the corners of Central Avenue and South Tippecanoe Avenue that would provide wayfinding for trucks coming and going for UPS and FedEx. Director of Aviation Mark Gibbs said the new airport sign will use the vertical stabilizer and rudder of a Boeing 737-500, which will be donated by airport contractor Unical Aviation. Unical will also provide a down payment of $57,760.50 for the project; the airport will pay the balance of $64,581.50. Funding of $190,000 for the project was included as a line item in the Capital Projects Fund in the Fiscal Year budget passed by SBIAA last month.

In other action, the board heard the first quarterly noise report from the SBD Good Neighbor Program (Noise Compatibility Program). The SBD Good Neighbor Program allows the airport to explain the operations at the airport and to receive feedback from those who live near and around SBD Airport.

Aviatrix Communications owner Katie Jones and Avitrix Public Relations Director Rosemary Barnes provided the report, which covered noise complaints given by the public via the Good Neighbor hotline and website from January 2020 to June 2020.

A total of 88 complaints were filed with 66 coming from 33 households in the city of Highland. The cities of Colton and Yucaipa followed as the next most frequent to submit complaints.

One Highland resident, who was not identified, complained 36 times for a variety of reasons, Barnes said. This resident accounted for about 40 percent of total complaints.

April and May, the first two months of the quarter, was “A very quiet spring,” said Barnes, with zero noise complaints in April.

In May there were three complaints from Highland and one in the city of Colton.

In June the program received 72 complaints that were mostly about low-flying aircraft. Jones said this was due to the start of fire season and the firefighting aircraft from the U.S. Forest Service that were flying low to put out fires in areas surrounding Highland.

Barnes also reminded the boardmembers of the Good Neighbor program disclaimer, which states, in part, “SBD International Airport has no authority over the movements of aircraft or the direction of flight. The authority to regulate flight patterns of aircraft is vested exclusively in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). FAA air traffic controllers have the responsibility for directing aircraft on the ground and in-flight; and the pilot in command has the final authority as to the safe flight of her/his aircraft. Pilots in command make the final decisions relative to runway use; therefore, pilots may request to use any available runway. Neither the airport nor the FAA air traffic controllers may restrict pilot’s access to an available runway.”

Jones said that every complaint filed with the Good Neighbor program is responded to in a timely matter.

SBIAA’s next scheduled meeting is on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

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