MASP 2017 Scam

The MDOT – Michigan Department of Transportation Michigan Aviation System Plan (MASP) 2017 scam is explained here as a lame justification to waste taxpayers money by going thru the motions to use fictional, made-up estimates from totally biased parties, that are not based on any known reality as you shall see. The totally useless report is an effort by MDOT to “Count the theoretical Number of Hotdogs Sold” because of supposed, imagined activity and benefits at a Non-Commercial, Non-Revenue generating, Hobby, Sport, Recreational airstrip.

MDOT Lead Poisoning Folly – Table of Contents

Here is a brief Table of Contents (ToC) for documenting the MDOT Lead Poisoning Folly  and the supporting Pages in an index-outline form to show that MDOT has consistently done and continues to do the wrong thing(s), even when the opportunity appears:

Tell MDOT to STOP poisoning our children with 100LL leaded aviation fuel NOW!
Tell Governor Whitmer to STOP MDOT from lead poisoning our children NOW!

The Michigan Aviation System Plan (MASP) 2017 or How to “Count the number of Theoretical Hotdogs Sold”

The Michigan Aviation System Plan (MASP) 2017 (pdf) is the result of a collaborative team effort by a diverse group of aviation, planning, and economic professionals.

Mead & Hunt is a respected, high end, airport consultant, engineering, and architecture firm that maintains more than 30 active offices as well as numerous job site offices across the country. A major part of the Study Team activities listed in the MASP 2017, and the update of the State of Michigan Aviation System Plan, MASP 2017 was conducted by the consulting firm of Mead & Hunt, with the assistance of their sub consultants under the close direction and scrutiny of MDOT.

Mead & Hunt Team

Some of the listed people resources in the MASP 2017 document include:

Mead & Hunt Subconsultants Team

The Mead & Hunt Subconsultants Team consists of the Economic Development Research Group – Jacobsen | Daniels.

Jacobsen|Daniels (J|D) is a respected, high end, diversified airport consultant, technical, and strategy consulting firm specializing in airport projects with coast-to-coast coverage.

The State of Michigan directly or indirectly hires many such respected, high end consultants in addition to Mead & Hunt and Jacobsen|Daniels, there are many other  highly paid consultants such as Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH), and Quality of Experience Consulting (QoE) (Aviation Pros reports that QoE Consulting, PLC was purchased by Prein&Newhof) and probably many more consultants we are not told about and therefore don’t know anything about.

Many of these consultants appear to be on retainer or bill openly and freely for services rendered to the State of Michigan. It’s not clear how the State of Michigan MDOT works and provides funds or justification as there is little to no transparency or real-world business or project plans as to the actual costs and the projected return on investment (ROI) or benefit to the taxpayer for most if not all of MDOT’s many ridiculous projects. There does not seem to ANY MDOT accountability or transparency at all.

Enter the Airport Consultant — the firm that specializes in converting wish lists into concrete proposals and carrying out the work when funding is approved. Like any good middle-man, the airport consultant makes his money on the fees assessed for his services, which naturally leads to gilded projects requiring large numbers of billable hours.

Consultants just do what they’re told, but of course this significantly, whether directly or indirectly, contributes to the overall waste, abuse, and allocation of public funds, as there is absolutely NO accountability spending Taxpayer money from anybody at this point.

How many highly paid airport consultants, engineering firms, strategists and marketing companies and MDOT employees does the State of Michigan need to screw in a light bulb?

Easy to Prove 19 Commercial Airports Have Revenues, Jobs, Passengers, Freight, and Do Provide Benefits to the Taxpayer

The 19 Michigan Commercial airports that generate revenue, jobs, and taxes with commercial service, passengers, freight, and FBOs make each of these airports self-supporting viable business concerns with their own obvious business justification.

These 19 economically viable airports have easily measurable, quantifiable, and demonstrable metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) regarding commercial activities, related tax revenues and jobs, passengers, and freight operations, and operate for the good of the communities they are located in. We could just ask these 19 viable airports for their own numbers and statistics and I’m sure they could very easily provide them.

Additionally, the people that operate these airports know how to continue to do so. It’s interesting to note that these airports could easily continue to survive and most likely flourish better without any help or oversight from MDOT or their consultants at all! Just ask any of the people who are successfully running one of the nineteen economically viable revenue generating airports in Michigan!

Michigan has 19 economically viable Commercial airports + ~215 Non-Commercial Hobby, Sport, Recreational airports in MASP 2017, the FAA Registry reports that Michigan currently has a total of only 7,273 aircraft, this includes all commercial air carriers, charters, etc. and includes ancient Piper Cubs & B17/B25 bombers, Hot Air Balloons [FAA] [FAA], gliders, e.g. basically anything that enters the sky and that the FAA has governance over.  Currently about ~95 of Michigan Public use airports receive Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) (TRB) funding.

However, the Michigan Aviation System Plan (MASP) 2017 (pdf) funds or provides benefit for all State of Michigan ~234 public use airports. This includes the ~234 total minus the 19 economically viable airports = ~215 other Non-Commercial Non-Revenue generating public-use airports that the State of Michigan supports directly or indirectly with taxpayer funds in one way or another, either from 100LL leaded aviation fuel taxes that are otherwise hidden or obscured or as other assistance or benefits that taxpayers cannot readily see orchestrated by Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists via Aviation in Michigan.

Aviation in Michigan (pdf) outrageously and ridiculously has almost as many airports as the State of California! Based on current up to date and well known industry statistics and requirements. The real point is that the State of Michigan doesn’t even need half of these airstrips! There are 83 counties in the state of Michigan, certainly anyone can easily imagine that number of strategic self-supporting airports, e.g. one per county. But 215 MDOT Non-Commercial Hobby, Sport, Recreational resources, go figure! The FAA numbers shown are dynamic and change accordingly and might be different from the numbers below, check the FAA registry for latest stats.

Here are FAA airport and 2018 State aircraft stats showing California’s 26 Commercial airports which is 7 more Commercial airports that Michigan’s 19 Commercial airports. Of course, Commercial airports are the REAL airports that drive revenue, taxes, jobs, etc. Notice that California population is also roughly a ratio of 4 to 1, and that the number of California’s 217 Non-Commercial airports is just two more than the number of Michigan’s 215 Non-Commercial airports, showing a surprising and shocking number of similar State supported Non-Commercial airports!

FAA Registered Aircraft and Airports
StateAircraft
FAA
People
2017
(millions)
Non Commercial
Airport
Commercial
Airport
CountiesArea
mi²
CA26,79539.5402172658163,696
MI7,2869.962215198396,716

Here are 2017 Pilot Stats from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) comparing the roughly 60,000 California pilots to Michigan’s 14,000 pilots, or roughly a 4.3 to 1 ratio showing a very disproportinate number of pilots.

2017 FAA U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics
StateTotal
Pilots
PrivateCommercialATPCFIStudent
CA59,92920,51710,72012,6519,75015,528
MI13,7744,6962,2503,4022,5603,207

BTW: people that use these facilities should pay for these facilities, period! The State of Michigan should utilize a payment system for airstrip users via  E-ZPass Group and not stick Taxpayers with the bill because MDOT can’t figure out how to collect the money from users. Non-flying taxpayers could care less and just want healthier schools, neighborhoods, communities, and better roads! BTW: the U.S. needs one single toll pass mechanism for all mobility use cases in all 50 states eventually [USAToday].

Certainly, Canton Plymouth Mettetal1d2 is a hobby, sport, recreational only airport and has never been critical infrastructure, unless you ask MDOT, and is a complete duplicate of at least four very close, better equipped, more appropriate airports, namely Ann Arbor ARB [wikipedia] [AirNav], Willow Run YIP [wikipedia] [AirNav], Oakland County Southwest (New Hudson) Y47 [wikipedia] [AirNav], and Oakland County International PTK [wikipedia] [AirNav]. None of the public-use hobby, sport, recreational airstrips like Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 are considered critical infrastructure to anyone except MDOT and their Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists partners.

The MDOT MASP 2008 stated that by extending taxpayers drive time from 45 to 60 minutes to existing airports would cover 100% of the State of Michigan’s population. BTW MDOT MASP 2008 has been conveniently deleted by MDOT.

MDOT MASP 2017 now reports that nearly every location, e.g. for 100% taxpayer coverage, within the state is now within a 90 minute drive time or less of an airport offering commercial service. This would include complete taxpayer (100%) access to the 19 revenue generating self-sustaining airports previously mentioned.

It’s not quite clear why with a glut of aviation resources why the requirement is now LARGER than it was in MASP 2008, go figure?

And, what do the taxpayers need the other ~215 airports for you ask? The State of Michigan MDOT had to hire teams of high-end planning and economic professionals, in addition to diversified technical and strategy consultants to tell the MDOT bureaucracy why and how to try to fool, whoops I mean justify, these money-pits, er I mean “significant to national air transportation” resources, to the taxpayer with mumbo jumbo, instead of crunching the simple basic numbers in a spread sheet with State employees and presenting the truth to the taxpayers and elected officials of the State of Michigan and starting the MDOT downsizing and lead and chemical cleanup & remediation process themselves.

Perhaps this is a new trend, but it doesn’t appear that other State Department of Transportations (DOTs) need to hire so many high end consultants to perform the same basic accounting activities, reporting chores, and spreadsheet duties that MDOT does, go figure.

MDOT does NOT appear to join, share, leverage, or utilize information from other professional organizations, but instead MDOT chooses to fabricate phony justification for much of their spending with help from Speial Interests and Industry Lobbyists, there is only lip service and here say. Here are two of the many organizations that MDOT could share and leverage data and information:

# -1- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) [Wikipedia] is a standards setting body which publishes specifications, test protocols and guidelines which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents not only highways but air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.

# -2- American Public Transportation Association (APTA) [Wikipedia] mission statement is to strengthen and improve public transportation, APTA serves and leads its diverse membership through advocacy, innovation and information sharing. APTA and its members and staff work to ensure that public transportation is available and accessible for all Americans in communities across the country.

And besides, MDOT will never voluntarily reduce the size of their fiefdom, they’ll wait out the next round of elected officials and play a shell game with taxpayers money to get their way on behalf of Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists, holding road funds as ‘hostage’, er I mean a bargaining chip, er I mean prioritizing taxpayer requirements.

Again, that’s why Michigan Roads are completely trashed but the Non-Commercial Hobby Sport, Recreational airstrips such as Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 hobby, sport, recreational airstrip flourish and have excess world class equipment, continuous paving, lawn care, and instant round the clock snow removal, all paid for the by unexpecting taxpayers that are purposely kept in the dark!

These ~215 other airports, just like Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip, are almost exclusively used for FAR Part 23 hobby, sport, recreational aircraft and have nothing to do with passengers, freight, jobs, or taxes. E.g. hobby, sport, recreational airstrips do absolutely nothing for the taxpayer or the State of Michigan. Many of these airstrips support planes that are so old you can’t even get parts any longer, and the newer ones do not drive any jobs, business, or revenue in Michigan based on the entire miniscule number of new Part 23 aircraft sold nationwide and that are manufactured and built elsewhere.

These stats are common knowledge and well known in the aviation industry e.g. the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Michigan Business Aviation Association (MBAA), Garmin Ltd. (Garmin), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University  (Embry-Riddle), and other major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). BTW: most of the MASP 2017 airport usage and growth stats are based on estimates, many are single estimates,  and combine optional surveys by Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists and do not include any real world data. Again, only estimates by completely biased parties with many conflicts of interest.

How Much Did Taxpayers Get Ripped Off to Produce the MDOT MASP 2017?

We can only guess the cost to produce the MASP 2017, but the MASP 2017 consists of 604 pages of the same useless excel spreadsheets with the worst bunch of fictional garbage ever seen. It would be great to figure out an estimate as to what the taxpayers of State of Michigan paid per page for this door stop slash boat anchor! So, let’s try to realistically and conservatively estimate how much time and taxpayer money was completely wasted on the MDOT MASP 2017 document.

State of Michigan Employee Burden Rate

An employee’s pay rate and what you actually pay for that employee are not the same. It seems simple, but many businesses lose money because they do not correctly calculate the real cost of maintaining an employee. Calculating labor burden can be tricky. It’s difficult at best to identify a fully-burdened labor rate. Many still don’t understand how the additional costs impact their business or the State of Michigan. The key is to locate the hidden costs that states, counties, and other organizations overlook.

Many people would conservatively agree to estimate an employee’s burden rate is 30 percent of their hourly wage or yearly compensation, and most likely higher. The State of Michigan average compensation has jumped to $117,000. And the trends for the cost of State of Michigan employees and their benefits is continually on the rise.

A rough, but conservative estimate for a fully burdened rate of a State of Michigan employee = $117,000 + 30% (35,100) = $152,100/2080 hours = ~$73.00 an hour.

A high-end respected consultant is at the minimum at least roughly twice the cost of a State of Michigan employee (~ 2 x $73.00) and probably higher depending on requirements, somewhere between ~$150.00 – ~$300 per hour.

  • One year = 2080 hours.
  • Six months = 1040 hours.
  • 3 months = 520 hours.

From the MASP 2017 document we can conservatively guess that:

  • Mead & Hunt = 3 people x 1040 hours (six months) x $150.00 per hour = $468,000.00
  • Jacobsen|Daniels = ~4 people (estimate) x 520 hours (3 months) x $125.00 per hour = $260,000.00

The Guidance and Oversight of the study was provided by the MDOT Office of Aeronautics (Planning and Development) and the MDOT Bureau of Transportation Planning. We’ll use a conservative three weeks minimum estimate, probably many more hours were used, but of course nobody at MDOT tracks this stuff for transparent reporting, so 120 hours (3 weeks) will be used for the other State of Michigan employees that are referred to in the MDOT MASP 2017.

State of Michigan employees ~15 people x 120 hours x 73.00 per hour x = $131,400.00

MASP 2017 People Resources
Entity# PeopleLengthRateTotal
Total226.75 months$859,400.00
Mead & Hunt36 months$150.00$468,000.00
J|D43 months$125.00$260,000.00
State of Michigan153 weeks$73.00$131,400.00

Total MASP 2017 cost estimate = $859,000.00 / 604 pages or approximately = ~$1422.00 per page.

Of course, this does not include the cost of the 10 members of the esteemed Michigan Aeronautics Commission to perform the review, critique, feedback loop, and then add their own personal touches and ratification by the Commission as a whole:

Also, the MDOT MASP 2017 Total costs do not include any of the costs of the 10 members of the MASP 2017 Steering Committee that provided input and recommendations based on the perspectives of the various organizations that each of them represented:

MASP 2017 Scam Summary

604 pages of useless excel spreadsheet stats repeated over and over again, with the worst bunch of fictional garbage content ever seen regarding the number of theoretical hotdogs sold. There is absolutely no useful, reusable, actionable data for the taxpayer or the State of Michigan in the content what so ever. At ~$1,422.00 per page, it’s clear that taxpayers are being taken advantage of again and again. Maybe that’s why nobody missed the MDOT MASP 2008 for so long, it’s completely useless and nobody looked at it after it was published, or even noticed the State of Michigan MDOT obscured the access & visibility and then deleted the MASP 2008 from public eyes.

Here are the relevant Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 extracted pages from MASP 2017, along with the outrageous and completely ridiculous Canton Mettetal 1d2 2018 – 2022 budget (pdf)!

  • Page 1 – a SINGLE (1) MDOT Community Benefits Assessment (CBA) was submitted by the Third Party Contractor appointed by MDOT to run Canton Pymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip listing a Total Impact from Airport Activities ridiculouslyin the 10’s of millions of dollars!
  • Page 2 – MDOT Report Card with impossible classification change from A-I to B-I!
  • Page 3 – Outrageous 2018 – 2022 budget for $2,292,500, with $671,958 local funds!

-#- Page 1, shows millions of dollars of impact, while most of the people at Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 live locally and do not spend any additional money at all. The fictional spending stats generated from the one estimate shows Canton Plymouth Metetal 1d2 airstrip average visitors spend more at Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 than Flint Bishop International FNT [wikipedia] [AirNav], Ann Arbor ARB [wikipedia] [AirNav], Willow Run YIP [wikipedia] [AirNav], and Jackson JXN [wikipedia] [AirNav], which is completely preposterous. Only ONE [very lame] Community Benefits Assessment Worksheet survey (pdf) was submitted from Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2. Gee whiz, I wonder who filled out that survey, go figure? Of course, the hostile Third Party Contractor hired by the State of Michigan MDOT that’s who!

-#- Page 2, the Airport Report Card for Plymouth for Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2, lists a 2017 MASP Airport Reference Code (ARC): as “B-I.” What that means is that State of Michigan MDOT believes the airstrip should developed further and expanded from 2,303 feet to 3,500 feet. By all accounts it appears to be physically impossible for Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 to reach these B-I goals, e.g. to go from 2,303 feet to 3,500 feet, e.g. extend the airstrip by 1197 feet. What’s wrong with this picture, and what is MDOT thinking? And why is MDOT wasting taxpayers time, energy, and money to justify this garbage report and the Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip? After all, Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 is ridiculously classified as a Tier 1 Reliever Airport, the smallest and least populated Tier 1 Reliever Airport in Michigan, and the entire U.S.A. !

-#- Page 3, local taxpayers are forced to pay for their own roads, but Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 hobby, sport, recreational airstrip has an absolutely outrageous 2018 – 2022 budget for $2,292,500, with $671,958 local funds!

MASP 2017 Scam Conclusion

Again, it’s interesting to note, that there does not seem to be ANY objective taxpayer voice at 1d2 Canton Plymouth Mettetal at all, everyone is a third party contractor, friends or family of a third party contractor or MDOT employee, and/or a member of one or more Special Interest or Industry Lobbyist groups that do not seem to prioritize the Health, Safety, and Welfare of the schools and community at all, go figure.

MDOT – the State of Michigan Department of Transportation cannot be objective, as several MDOT employees, their friends, and families live very close by, almost all own, sell, or use piston engine aircraft and helicopters using leaded 100LL aviation fuel all while many serve and support multiple Special Interests and Industry Lobbyist activities either directly or indirectly. Many, perhaps most, if not all, of these Special Interests and Industry Lobbyist activities are ‘commercial’ or revenue generating interests and business concerns even if they are labeled ‘non-profit’.

Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip could completely disappear and nobody in the community would notice economically. Of course, many local real-estate companies are betting that the void will be filled quickly with long term, sustainable, public spaces, and school & community friendly businesses, and so is the community!

Take Action to Protect PCCS Schools & Canton Plymouth Community from Lead Poisoning & Chemical contamination: by making as many calls, sending as many emails, to as many recipients on the Contacts page to demand closure of the State of Michigan Owned Hobby, Sport, Recreational Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip and Private Executive Heliport, Helicopter Sales/Demo Office, & Industrial Helicopter MRO MI79!

While financial considerations are secondary to protecting Health, Safety, & Welfare of vulnerable populations, there is a also mandatory requirement to reorganize MDOT to remove the stranglehold of the MDOT bureaucracy on infrastructure essential to the Future of Michigan and place control back in the hands of Taxpayers and their elected officials!

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOTBureaucracy, as with all public servants, must abide by the highest standards of the State of Michigan (SoM) set forth by Governor Whitmer [PressRelease] [html] [pdf] [Ethics] and be held accountable for knowingly remaining silent (acquiesce) while contributing to the sum of Community Health, Safety, & Welfare negligence & malpractice, financial waste, misuse of taxpayer funds and the consequences of public funding abuse (html)!