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sity of tearing out 150 feet, that would be $45,000 right there; wouldn't it?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. I think a lot of people do not realize just how expensive and how high this figure would be. I had a rather interesting experience. Do you run the airport in McGrath, Alaska?
Mr. SAUNDERS. I am not sure whether that is one of the six that I mentioned.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. I understand they are worrying about building a moose-proof fence around the airport at McGrath, Alaska, because a moose knocked off the nose wheel of a 727 and did $250,000 worth of damage. I wonder what a moose-proof fence would cost around there. This really happened. I was just up there last year. Do you remember it?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. SAUNDERS. I would gladly submit that for the record if you would like to have it, because the facts would be available on the cost of a fence per foot
Mr. KUYKENDALL. In fact I happen to know they are looking for such a thing because they are having problems.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir.
COST OF INSTALLING A “MOOSE-PROOF" FENCE AT MCGRATH, ALASKA, AIRPORT We estimate that the cost of installing a "moose-proof” fence around the McGrath, Alaska, Airport would be between $40,000 and $100,000. Specifically, we estimate that an 8 foot, 4 or 5 strand, electrified barbed wire fence would cost about $40,000; an 8 foot, electrified woven wire fence would cost about $48,000; and a 6 foot chain link fence would cost about $100,000. Under normal conditions, we believe any one of these types of fence would exclude moose.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. There is a great deal of consternation and exploration taking place around the Congress, and I think the whole aviation industry knows about the building of an airport and airways construction trust fund. Would you propose in such an overall plan somewhat similar to the trust fund plan of the highway trust fund? Would you like to keep the actual operation of some airports as opposed to the supervision which is normally the function of the FAA? Would you like to see this removed to another agency that would maybe put you in a position of not being both fish and fowl in this business of actually operating an airport? Aren't you in a position here of somewhat supervising yourself?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir; I guess that is true. FAA does include-
agency is concerned. Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir, the Bureau of National Capital Airports, of which I am Director, reports directly to the FAA Administrator. So it is all one organization. On the first part of your question, I just would not be in a position to answer on the trust fund or the airways question at all.
On the second part, I would say simply this: That I assume that the new Administrator will want to review the operation and organization
of the Bureau of National Capital Airports. I assume that he will want to present his findings and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation. But beyond that, I simply cannot comment.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Would you say that usually the complaints, the petitions, the legislation or whatever it is that is aimed at your operation probably would not be about 90 percent aimed at National?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. When you speak of National, emotion gets pretty high around here from time to time.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir, I think that is probably a reasonable proposition. And, I guess it is somewhat related to the fact that 10 million passengers a year use Washington National Airport, and the Dulles level is something less than 2 million a year at the present time.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Is there a great danger here in some of the attempts to get at National, that they will throw the baby out with the bath water by getting Dulles along with it, attacking the overall operation instead of just National?
Mr. SAUNDERS. It is true that both airports are under the same management, that is, the Bureau of National Capital Airports? So any regulation, any law, any bill that would apply to one would very likely affect both.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. In other words, any limitation on expenditures primarily aimed at curtailing activities at National would almost invariably tend to hurt Dulles too, would it not?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir, because Dulles is also a federally owned airport, and the same regulation, the same restriction would apply to it as well.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. So in other words, the attack on the disease might be to attack the cure also. I am not calling National a disease.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Right.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. But there are a lot of people around here who think it is.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir, and as I pointed out in my opening statement, the bill or the law would of course affect Wake Island, Annette Island, Alaska, and six other Alaska airports, and the Atlantic City NAFEC facility. All those are federally-owned and operated airports.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. I know you would join with me in observing that the people who know more about and contribute more to this problem than anybody are right here in this building and the two next door, because most of us Congressmen like to travel out of National Airport. What Mr. Pickle mentioned was ready land access to Dulles and the Friedel Memorial Airport up in Baltimore. Seriously, high speed ground transportation it seems to me is the only possible answer to National, and I think all the fencing that different people try to do on National until that comes I do not see another answer. I know you agree and I think Mr. Pickle has nailed it right on the head as to whắt we had better aim at as far as the solution. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Right.
Mr. Watson. Mr Chairman, I apologize for not being here to hear the earlier testimony. I am sure questions that I have in mind have already been answered, but if I might just ask one or two.
You state that emergencies come up that immediately require attention, and you give some examples. You state on page 2 concerning the projecting of your needs for even a 2-year period, that the changing of the art is so dramatic and rapid that you are unable to project these needs, even for a 2-year period?
Mr. SAUNDERS. We do our very best, Mr. Watson, and we plan the 4 or 5 years ahead as part of the 5 year plan, for example.
Mr. WATSON. Yes.
Mr. SAUNDERS. And we try to set the priorities on the basis of facts available to us at the time. I think we do reasonably well in that, with lots of help from lots of people. But it is not always possible to predict accurately what the priorities will be 2 years hence, as I pointed out. We are making the case for the exception, rather than for the majority of cases I think.
Mr. Watson. Well, I can see that. You go ahead and enumerate several examples of unforeseeable, unplanned conditions.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. Watson. One of them was the hydroplaning problem. That certainly could have been anticipated. It has been in existence for years. Was this something just arising overnight of an emergency nature?
Mr. SAUNDERS. No, sir. It was determined after research that the grooving of runways would be an effective way of eliminating hydroplaning. The state of the art had advanced to the point that grooving was accepted as a way of improving braking. So we felt it was incumbent on us to proceed with grooving as quickly as we could, once the scientists had said that grooving is a worthwhile project that does work.
Mr. WATSON. But it is really not something of an emergency nature. That is something that has been developing all along, and finally you decided to do it. Now you say you can have aircraft or ground vehicles to have unexpected damage to a fuel system. Would that exceed $50,000?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir, it might.
Mr. SAUNDERS. It might. Mr. Watson, may I cite another example that perhaps would make the point. Because of the shifting mud in the Potomac River, the alignment of our 3,000 foot long approach light system at the south end of the airport, which is a very important component of the instrument landing system, was shifted out of line. The approach light system consists, as you probably know, of thirty some odd stations 100 feet apart with high intensity lights and sequence flashers installed on the stations. These stations are independent of each other, as far as structure goes, but they are connected by the electrical cables and the control mechanisms.
The strain on this straight 3,000-foot line approach light system was so great because of the shift of mud in the Potomac area that we were close to having the electrical cables severed. In addition to that, the whole system was out of line. It went a little bit on the weaving side (demonstrating). Because the approach light system is a very important part of the instrument landing system on which the present minimums of “200 and a half” depend, we felt there was an emergency: And we proceeded with the repair (the relocating and stabilizing of the approach light stations) at, as I recall, a cost of $93,000.
Now, I do not honestly think that we could have anticipated that a year or two or three or four years ahead in planning the budget cycle.
Mr. Watson. You mean when this was installed, that there was no consideration given by the engineers as to the shifting of the bottom of the Potomac? I am familiar with what you are talking about, but it would appear to me elementary, and I am no engineer at all, that consideration would be given to that very thing.
Mr. SAUNDERS. The approach light system was engineered properly we believe. It had served for many years, and it was not a new installation. I would think that the approach light system might even go back 8 or 10 years. I will tell you exactly for the record, if you wish, without any difficulty. (The following information was received for the record:)
APPROACH LIGHT SYSTEM (ALS) WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT The approach light system (ALS) at Washington National Airport was originally installed in 1942. Until 1956, the ALS was a centerline light system supported on individual piles in the Potomac River. Technicians maintained the ALS by rowing between each pile. In 1956, we installed the existing pier to accomodate a more modern ALS, including bar lights. In 1958, we added a sequence flasher to the ALS.
In 1967, an unanticipated mud wave misaligned the pier. The addition of guys and several steel piles promptly stabilized the pier, but this proved to be insufficient. In 1968, we entered into a contract to replace existing timbers which had warped or broken, and to strengthen about 1000 feet of the pier with steel piles driven about 50 to 70 feet to the point of refusal. The approach light system is now functioning perfectly.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. FRIEDEL. I want to keep the picture straight in my mind. You appear before the Appropriations Committee each year?
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. FRIEDEL. Did you know that you wanted to straighten out the lights when you went to the Appropriations Committee?
Mr. SAUNDERS. As I recall, no, sir. It happened between the hearings, but I am not exactly sure of the time.
Mr. FRIEDEL. It did not come up overnight. You knew that it was out of line and you wanted to straighten it up.
Mr. SAUNDERS. The actual shift did come rather suddenly, Mr. Chairman. I think it is correct to say that it probably did not happen overnight, but it did happen rather suddenly over a period of days, as I recall.
Mr. PICKLE. One more question.
Mr. WATSON. Just one or two further questions, or rather seeking a little edification here, a little enlightenment. You cite as a further example of apparently unexpected problems, the closing of general aviation airport may generate increased demands for facilities to take care of the flying public.
General airports are not closed without considerable discussion, even prolonged over a period of years. I know in my district if you even think about closing an airport, you have got a problem on your hands and you wrestle with it for years. But you do know of instances when they have suddenly been closed?
Mr. SAUNDERS. There have been instances where they would be closed for a period of time, and extra traffic would come into the picture. I think what we are thinking about there, and it is in the future, is that the Washington-Virginia Airport at Baileys CrossRoads is expected to be closed, and has been expected to be closed for some years. But, it is now expected to be closed in the early part of 1970. There are some 115 aircraft based at that Baileys CrossRoads Airport at the present time.
Mr. Watson. Yes, sir; but you are making plans now for that. You cite this as an emergency.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. Watson. That is not an emergency thing. You have got years to make preparations for that. As you say, you normally present these requests to the Congress, and I know you do, but you would not say that that would amount to an emergency,
would you? Mr. SAUNDERS. No, not an emergency in a dire sense. But there is this to be said: The ownership of this particular airport changed in the last year or two upon the death of the long-time owner. For awhile, it appeared that, as a result of settling the estate, the airport might be sold and disposed of on a very short-term basis. That is what we referred to. Apparently now, according to our best information, the estate or the heirs have decided to continue the airport until the early part of 1970.
Mr. WATSON. You cite, finally, increased airplane passenger capacity may make necessary expanded or improved baggage handling facilities.
Mr. SAUNDERS. Yes.
Mr. WATSON. That is nothing of an emergency nature. You know the necessity right now to make plans for increased baggage, the handling of it, and also the improvement and expediting of the handling of it. You can plan for that in advance, can't you?
Mr. SAUNDERS. We can do our best, Mr. Watson. The example I guess that would best illustrate this is the increase in passenger loading that came even with planning and with_advance notice. When a number of airlines began to use the stretch DC-8 jets. These involve about 196 passengers, instead of 120, 130, 150 at a time. This brought additional loads on our baggage claims facilities at Dulles, for example.
Mr. WATSON. I know you are doing the best you can. We were just trying to look at some of these things. Most of them did not appear to me to be of an emergency nature, but were something that you could well anticipate in advance.
One final thing I am concerned about. I believe at the end of this year you are going to have the 747's with the 400 passenger capacity and so forth. What arrangements are being made to get those passengers, from Dulles into town quickly. We bring them here at supersonic speeds. Now what are we going to do after they are landed?
Mr. SAUNDERS. There are several things to mention, in that connection, Mr. Watson. First, effective January 1 of this year, we entered into a new ground transportation contract after competitive bids, with Greyhound. We hope to improve the ground transportation service not only to the District, but also to some 35 hotels in the District and to a number of suburban areas, with lower rates and faster, more frequent service.
In addition to that, we are hopeful that the link remaining on Interstate 66 from its present termination at Interstate 495 will be