This week the Speaker was Marty Lenss, Director of the Eastern Iowa Airport.  His presentation was on current trends in commercial aviation and at the Eastern Iowa Airport.
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Marty Lenss-- Speaker
Pam Hinman-- Eastern IA Airport
Jody Braverman-- IC Noon and Assistant District Governor
Phil Jordan-- Guest of Deb Dunkhase
Sargeant-at-Arms, Jack Cameron, encouraged new Rotarians to turn in make-ups.  In our club volunteer activities with other non-profits, donating blood, doing a Meals on Wheels shift, assisting an Interact group or Youth Exchange student, attending Month Openers, doing a club service such as clean-up duty or taking notes for the Rotary File, working on a Club or District committee or activity, attending another club meeting or another RI meetings all qualify for make-ups. 
Myrene Hoover described the tradition of exchanging banners.  In 1959 with the growing popularity of exchanging banners among Rotary clubs RI suggested that clubs pay attention to banner design.  Club members who expect to visit other clubs can ask Jack Cameron or Myrene Hoover for our club banners to take along on trips. 
Deb Dunkhase, Nancy Pacha, Deb Galbraith and Jim Peterson were given new member sponsor awards for their efforts in bringing in recent new members.
Chris and Vernette Knapp and Brian Adamec were honored for reaching new levels of Paul Harris Society membership.
Jim Peterson presented Jody Braverman with a special recognition from the Xicotepec Rotary Club to the Iowa City Noon Club on the occasion of their 100th anniversary.
Mark Patton passed around a sign-up for shifts on Saturday, December 5 for wrapping gifts for children of needy families to give their parents.  This activity is taking place at St. Mark's Methodist Church with shifts from 8:30 to 11 and 11 to 1.
Sue Cronin gave a report on Kiva.  So far our team has loaned $1775 to 37 people or groups from 20 countries and have started recycling the loans as money comes back from recipients.  Sue also asked members to suggest companies who might have printer cartridges available to recycle.  The cartridge recycling program has been one source of funds for the Kiva project.
Peggy Doerge is also passing around a sign-up for the December 7 chili dinner at her house.  There will be a mini-Fireside chat to assist new members in understanding all that we do as part of this chili dinner.  Please bring corn bread if you have a good recipe to share.
Rotarians in the News
Randy Willman pointed out the article in the PC by Dave Parsons about online scams.
Happy Bucks
Some of the people sharing happy buck moments were Deb Ockenfels, Deb Dunkhase, Carolyn Wanat, Jody Braverman, Rick Dobyns, Dick Huber, Brian Adamec, Jim Peterson, and Vernette Knapp.
Marty Lenss took over the director position at the Eastern Iowa Airport almost a year ago.  Prior to this position Lenss was Executive Director for the Rochester Airport Company in Rochester, MN and Airport Director for the Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton, WI.
The Airport is governed by a Commission with 5 members appointed by the Cedar Rapids mayor for 3 year terms.  The current board is well balanced with members from throughout the Eastern Iowa Corridor. 
The Airport is experiencing some new partnerships with the University of Iowa and also Iowa State on projects that expand the use of the farmlands owned and leased out by the Airport.  With Iowa State there is a project for soil conservation to do prairie strip planting on the farmland.  The UI project is to grow tall grass on part of the land to be harvested for the UI biomass fuel generator.
Having a strong regional airport is good for business.  It is listed as the number 3 reason companies move to an area.  The Eastern Iowa Airport is responsible for 2600 jobs with a $95M payroll and $224M in annual economic impact for the area.  The Eastern Iowa Airport is virtually debt-free which means the cost per passenger at $6.76 is much lower than for comparable airports.  The Airport receives no local tax funding.  It is completely self-sufficient.
The Airport is undergoing the most massive renovation project since the current terminal opened in 1986.  This is a 5-phase, $40M project currently in the design stage of the 3rd phase.  Lenss anticipates another 3-4 years of construction.  The renovation projects are being paid through user fees, federal funding and a small amount of state funding.
While the aviation industry is healthy right now, there are challenges.  Consolidation has made it more difficult for smaller airports to compete for service and to keep prices competitive.  Lenss indicated that the age of the 50 passenger regional jet is gradually ending because maintenance on these smaller jets is too costly and they are being phased out.  The Eastern Iowa Airport can accommodate the larger jets, but the phase-out of the 50 passenger planes is a problem for smaller airports. 
Lenss sees the biggest growth area for the Eastern Iowa Airport in the leisure travel market.  Allegiant will be the low cost carrier driving that leisure market in our area.  For the larger legacy airlines their growth will primarily be in the shrinking number of hub airports.
One problem area is in federal legislation.  A recent requirement for more hours of training before a pilot can be hired is making it too expensive for new pilots to be trained.  There is a growing pilot shortage that must be addressed by making training based on quality rather than on quantity of hours with new proficiency exam standards.