Louie Bonaguidi, Mayor
Linda Garcia, Councilor, Dist. 1 Michael Schaaf, Councilor, Dist. 2
Yogash Kumar, Councilor, Dist. 3 Fran Palochak, Councilor, Dist. 4
Maryann Ustick, City Manager
Curtis Hayes, City Attorney
PUBLIC NOTICE: In accordance with the public health order issued by the New Mexico Department of Health, the meeting will be physically closed to the public; however, the meeting will be accessible via the following technology service:
Facebook Live stream through the City of Gallup's Facebook Page:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued guidance delineating responsibilities of federal and state governments regarding policies that pave the way for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The “model state policy” section reinforces the traditional roles of the states in areas such as vehicle licensing and registration, traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability, ensuring that these roles will also apply when it comes to autonomous vehicle policy. NHTSA will continue to be responsible for federal motor vehicle safety standards, recalls and other enforcement measures, educating the public on safety and writing performance guidelines for industry.
According to the NHTSA policy, “States may still wish to experiment with different policies and approaches to consistent standards, and in that way contribute to the development of the best approaches and policies to achieve consistent regulatory objectives. The goal of State policies in this realm need not be uniformity or identical laws and regulations across all States. Rather, the aim should be sufficient consistency of laws and policies to avoid a patchwork of inconsistent State laws that could impede innovation and the expeditious and widespread distribution of safety enhancing automated vehicle technologies.” A major concern at the federal level, as well as in the auto industry, is the creation of a patchwork of laws around the country that would not allow autonomous vehicles to travel between states and would not allow the same vehicles to be sold in every state.
House Bill 270 seeks to align the State of New Mexico with the national framework through the adoption of definitions in the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Code pertaining to autonomous vehicles and the creation of a public process to permit autonomous vehicle research and testing on the State’s roadways. With this resolution, the city of Gallup expresses its support for the enactment of legislation by the New Mexico Legislature to enable the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles in a manner that is consistent with NHTSA guidance.
In response to the impacts of the COVID pandemic on the retail, tourism, and hospitality sectors, as well as on the closure of the Escalante Generating Station and the indefinite idling of the Gallup Refinery, the Gallup-McKinley County economy is in need of economic diversification and job creation. Capitalizing on Gallup-McKinley County’s strategic location along Interstate-40 and the BNSF Transcon Rail Line, Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation (GGEDC) has put into motion plans to bring autonomous vehicle research and testing, and eventually manufacturing, to Gallup and McKinley County through the creation of a Gallup Mobility Hub centered at the Gallup Municipal Airport.
Senate Bill 133 (SB133) creates a new aviation grant program within the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) to support air service to rural parts of the state. The program awards grants to municipal or county governments to be used to provide air service operators minimum revenue guarantees for new air service routes.
To be eligible for a grant award, a municipality or county is required to have a minimum population of 20,000 people residing within a 50-mile radius of the airport, unless there is existing air service at the airport. New air routes would have to be serviced using twin-engine turboprop aircraft. The local government would have to provide either a 10 percent match if there is no existing air service or a 50 percent match if there is existing air service. The maximum grant award would be up to $1.25 million if there is existing air service or $1.75 million if there is no existing air service. The grant would be for a two-year period and does not provide funding for airport improvements or operating costs.
SB133 creates the rural air service enhancement fund and appropriates an initial $9 million from the general fund to the enhancement fund for expenditures in fiscal year 2022 and future fiscal years.
With this resolution, the city of Gallup expresses its support for the enactment of legislation by the New Mexico Legislature to enable NMDOT to set up a competitive grant program for communities seeking to provide scheduled rural air service.
The City of Gallup has not offered scheduled rural air service since 2008. The City of Gallup and GGEDC have applied and received a US EDA planning grant to develop an Airport Feasibility Study to gain a more accurate picture regarding costs associated with providing scheduled rural air service from the Gallup Municipal Airport. SB133, if passed, will be a critical data point in the feasibility study, helping to provide the city with the most up to date and complete financial analysis.
Approve Resolution No. R2021-8 endorsing New Mexico Senate Bill 133 Relating to Scheduled Rural Air Service.