Wed, Jan 18, 2012
Officials Say New Tower Needed Despite Lower Traffic
The slowing of the economy and downward political pressure on
general aviation are among factors cited for a 25 percent drop in
traffic at Florida's Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (KFXE) since
2008. But the FAA is still providing a $9 million grant to build a
new control tower there, in the expectation that better times will
bring resumed growth.
The Sun Sentinel reports the plan would replace a 41-year-old,
five-story control tower with a new, 117-foot, tubular structure
which doubles the height of the old one. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen
Bergen explains, "It will be a taller facility that gives
controllers more room to work and will allow us to install the
latest air traffic technology."
Despite the recent dip in traffic, NIMBYs worry about airport
expansion. Airport officials have ensured neighbors the new tower
won't encourage more traffic. Linda Bird, president of Lakes
Estates Homeowners Association, tells the paper neighbors don't
oppose the new tower because it should enhance safety. But she adds
the incoming $9 million could be better spent on addressing several
crashes around the airport in the past decade.
She says, "We do not have an adequate number of inspectors on
ground. That's where the money needs to be spent."
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility is planned for
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