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Wed, Mar 27, 2024

FAA Announces $20M in Control Tower Refurb

20 Small & Regional Airports tot See Improvements

The FAA is awarding $20 million to the creation or refurbishment of 20 airport-owned traffic control towers across 17 states under the 'Contract Tower Program'.

The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, specifically earmarked to "smaller and regional airports to improve safety and support critical aviation operations such as commercial passenger flights, cargo flights, emergency services, agricultural aviation, and flight training." The airports range from Bullhead International in Arizona, where the tower will gain better fire protection, comms equipment, security, mechanical, and interior enhancements along with ADA-compliant layouts. Max Westheimer Airport of Oklahoma will put the funding towards an entirely new tower, which will do away with the old one. The choice was largely done for security and visibility issues with the original, with a new tower being the best way to ensure good operational conduct in the decades to come. That theme seems fairly common throughout the awards, with most airports either revamping their existing control tower, or creating a new one in cases where the original was originally temporary (Harlingen, Texas) in order to get proper traffic nightlines or structural integrity.

"These investments expand the resources available to airports and help ensure airport traffic control towers across the country and the men and women who work in them are able to effectively do their jobs and communicate with pilots," added FAA Associate Administrator for Airports Shannetta Griffin. "Not only does this help improve safety at our airports, but it creates good-paying jobs and helps boost local economies."

FMI: www.faa.gov

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