Fuel farm

San Bernardino International Airports current fuel farm thats capacity will be increased from 150,000 gallons to 500,000 gallons after construction of the $4.6 million project is completed.

The San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA) gathered on Wednesday, May 26, to approve a debt-refinancing plan, a construction contract to expand the airport’s fuel farms storage capacity and a purchase agreement for new electric ground support equipment.

The commission first approved a debt-refinancing plan that would refinance approximately $8 million of certain outstanding debt obligations and raise additional capital of $4.7 million for general airport improvements including expansion of the airport’s fuel farm from 150,000 gallons to 500,000 gallons of Jet-A-Fuel storage capacity.

According to a report written by the finance team, they determined that a direct placement of SBIAA General Airport Revenue Bonds (GARBS) would provide optimal financing regarding ease of process terms, an expedited timeline and a low borrowing cost.

Actual debt service payments will not be known until responses are received from banks later this month.

The current market and estimated taxable borrowing rate are 4.25 percent based on the assumed 20-year amortization period. The estimated total debt service payment is $22.5 million with estimated bond insurance that costs $200,000, which will be paid through the sale of the aforementioned GARBs.

The commission, in relation to the prior item, approved a construction contract of over $4.6 million with Bodell Construction Company to expand SBD’s fuel farm capacity from 150,000 gallons to 500,000 gallons.

This contract is for planning and construction of the project, and it required a budget adjustment of $4.7 million to provide funding from the Capital Projects Fund for the fiscal year 2020-21.

The expansion is expected to be completed in the fiscal year 2021-22.

Before the vote, commissioner and Highland Mayor Penny Lilburn asked, “What made us [the airport] go from 150,000 to 500,000? That’s a huge jump.”

SBD Executive Director Michael Burrows said the expansion was needed due to an increase of airport traffic from the U.S. Forest Service Air Tanker Base and other tenets at SBD.

In other action, the commission approved procurement of Air Quality Management District (AQMD) compliant electric ground support equipment for the Fixed Base Operations for a cost not to exceed $400,000.

The new equipment would include: an electric-powered TLD ABS-580-E stair truck for use in accessing aircraft cabin doors; an electric-powered TLD LSP-900-V-E lavatory vehicle to service aircraft lavatories and a Tier-4 TLD trailer mounted 400 Hz, 140 kVA Ground Power Unit to supply electricity to customer aircraft.

Member and mayor from the city of San Bernardino John Valdivia asked Burrows if there “had been any exploration of searching out potential [AQMD] grants to offset the purchase or outlay of our [the airports] capital.”

Burrows said, the equipment is in a different category and that the airport needs to purchase the equipment outright because it needs the fleet as quickly as possible due to the approaching fourth-quarter holiday shopping season.

Valdivia suggested sending “a nice letter” to AQMD asking them if there were reimbursement opportunities available to “meet their [AQMD] demands.”

Burrows said that the airport continues to communicate with AQMD on future grants and would be sending a letter to AQMD letting them know about the purchase of the lavatory vehicle.

SBIAA’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, June 23; they will be discussing the fiscal year 2021-22 budget.

The Inland Valley Development Agency will also be discussing its fiscal year budget on Wednesday, June 9.

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