(April 3, 2018) No one knows the TPA airfield like the TPA team. That was the idea behind bringing in-house one of the largest projects required to maintain Tampa International Airport’s airfield.
The TPA airfield team completed the largest in-house airfield maintenance project in the history of TPA in February. The work on Runway 1R/19L required removing 257,380 square feet of paint, applying 5,140 gallons of new paint along with more than 11 tons of glass beads to give the airfield markings the reflective property required by the FAA. And it was all done in just 30 days.
Bruce Sather, Senior Manager of Buildings and Grounds met with his Airfield team leaders to talk about the possibility of bringing the work in-house two years ago when the project was first discussed. It was something that had never been done before. Maintenance Superintendent Mark Stolze told Sather that his team was up to the task.
“We would rather have our team painting this airfield over any contractor. They know this airfield. They’re well-trained and they do great work,” said Stolze.
The end result was nothing short of remarkable. The runway painting project was completed on-schedule, under budget. The job required purchasing a special piece of equipment, the Stripe Hog 7500 for $525,000, but the cost savings for completing the job in-house will eclipse that expense within the first year.
Stolze says those savings are just the beginning.
“We can use it for so much more, such as rubber removal, cleaning the airfield paint markings and lighting, curbsides, roadways and use at the general aviation airports whenever we need to,” said Stolze. “And now we have a greater deal of scheduling flexibility. Before we had to work around the contractor’s availability. Now we can schedule the projects whenever we want to, whatever works best for us, the airlines and all of our tenants.”
Sather says that the cost savings are important for the Airport, but the sense of accomplishment for the team has been invaluable.
“It’s reignited their spirit,” said Sather. “The guys were so proud of the job that they did and were so enthused with the outcome, they’re already looking forward to the next runway.”
The entire airfield maintenance team was recognized for this historic accomplishment. They are: Charlie Williams, Michael Mitchell, Angel Rosa, Andre Davis, Marc Benson, Greg Tucker, Joseph Lambertson, Mark Burns, Terry Ebanks, Alejandro Rivera, Floyd Dozier, Carlos Deneira, Mike Plante, Jeffery Clay, Kevin McLean, Superindendent Mark Stolze and Senior Manager Bruce Sather.