Airport Board Approves Extending General Counsel Agreement and Separation Incentives

Press Release

ORLANDO, FL. — The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board voted to approve continuing its engagement with Rumberger Kirk as Interim General Counsel. This marks the second six-month extension with the firm to provide legal services to the Aviation Authority. The firm was initially approved as interim counsel on November 13, 2019 following the resignation of then-counsel Marcos Marchena. Under the extended agreement, Mr. Daniel Gerber will continue as Interim General Counsel with Ms. Lan Kennedy-Davis as his designee.

Authority CEO Phil Brown presented the extension request to the Board, citing the reasons as ongoing challenges with COVID-19, uncertainty in the current business environment as to when passenger traffic will return to pre-COVID levels and retirement of key GOAA staff members. The renewed agreement extends Rumberger Kirk’s services through May 31, 2021.

The range of legal services provided by Rumberger Kirk includes:

  • Advice and recommendations regarding compliance with Florida’s Sunshine and Public Records laws
  • Overseeing the assignment of all legal matters to all outside counsel
  • Advice and counsel as requested at Authority Board meetings
  • Oversight and coordination of Authority committee meetings as requested
  • Substantive legal services regarding real property development
  • Oversight of and recommendations related to claims and litigation involving the Authority

Incentive Program

The Board also authorized the CEO to establish a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIP) that allows GOAA employees to enter into separation agreements that exceed current policy guidelines. The program will enable the Aviation Authority to partially offset a decline in revenues due to COVID-related passenger decreases.

In addition to the previously enacted cost-cutting measures of a hiring freeze, capital program deferrals, reducing certain operating expenses and debt restructuring, a reduction in personnel costs is also necessary. Should the VSIP net sufficient participation, the Authority will not need to consider implementing layoffs.

Employees who choose the voluntary program will receive one-time policy exceptions to Separation Pay, Sick Leave Payout and Health Insurance compensations. The fiscal impact is based on participation, but the program has a not-to-exceed amount of $1,500,000. If the VSIP reaches that threshold, an estimated annualized direct payroll reduction of $3.3 million is expected.

Employees selected will be notified by December 4, 2020. Separations should be completed by January 31, 2021.

Orlando Executive Airport Appointees

The Aviation Authority Board, which also has oversight of Orlando Executive Airport (ORL), approved the appointment of one new member and the reappointment of four others to the Orlando Executive Airport Advisory Committee. The committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Board in matters relating to ORL.

Four members were appointed to continue serving on the committee. Carson Lee remains Chairman; Todd Anderson represents Sheltair Aviation; Tony Sherbert represents Atlantic Aviation; and Brad Pierce is the Citizen at Large. Troy Webb was appointed to fill the vacancy of Tenant Representative.

GOAA Executive to Lead State Airport Trade Group

Luis Olivero, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority’s Assistant Director of Government Affairs, has been selected to be the 2021 Chairman of the Board for the Florida Airports Council (FAC). The trade association is the largest airport-specific association of publicly-owned and operated airports, airport professionals, and experts in the fields of airport design, development, and improvement, as well as aviation trades that support the airport industry in Florida.

Under his leadership, FAC’s focus next year includes the viability and survivability of the aviation industry and the trade association; continued communication with government leaders and agencies as to the status of airports and find ways they can assist; and encouraging airport leadership to train the next generation of leaders by getting them involved in the decision-making process.

Rebounding traffic

As MCO prepares for the holiday season, passenger traffic continues to rise slightly. Between October 10 and 17, approximately 229,892 people were screened at security check points, making it the airport’s busiest week since the beginning of the pandemic. Three of those days had more than 30,000 passengers each. Recent traffic numbers have consistently kept Orlando International one of the seven busiest airports in the country, easily ranking with Los Angeles, Denver and Atlanta.

The news of increasing traffic numbers is anchored by new air service announcements by Silver Airways, which announced all-new nonstop flights to Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina.

The information herein is provided as of the dates specified. Due to the outbreak and continuation of COVID-19 subsequent to the date of such information, the information contained herein may differ materially from the current operational and financial data.