FAA Allocates $20m to Upgrade Regional Airport Control Towers

Bradley Airport control tower
redlegsfan21 from Vandalia, OH, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a significant move towards bolstering aviation infrastructure, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has earmarked $20 million for the upgrade of airport traffic control towers across the United States.

This investment, spanning 17 states, continues the commitment of President Biden’s administration to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure.

The funds will be directed to 20 airport-owned airport traffic control towers in small and regional airports across the country,

Addressing Critical Needs

The funding, derived from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, prioritizes smaller and regional airports, aiming to address crucial safety concerns and support various aviation operations.

These activities include commercial passenger flights, cargo transportation, emergency services, agricultural aviation, and flight training.

The allocation of resources aligns with President Biden’s vision of modernizing America’s aviation system to ensure safety and efficiency for generations to come.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasizes the significance of these investments in smaller regions historically underserved by federal resources.

“With funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re helping modernize air traffic control towers in smaller communities that have not always received adequate resources from Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Enhancing Infrastructure Nationwide

FAA Associate Administrator for Airports, Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E.,highlights the multifaceted benefits of the funding.

“Not only does this help improve safety at our airports, but it creates good-paying jobs and helps boost local economies,” she explained.

Beyond improving safety measures, these investments stimulate local economies, create job opportunities, and fortify communication channels between ATCTs and pilots.

FAA Key Airport Upgrades

Let’s delve into some of the notable airport upgrades facilitated by this funding:

Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport, Arizona

  • Amount: $2 million
  • Purpose: Improvements identified in the ATCT Facility Needs Assessment, including fire protection, communication equipment upgrades, security enhancements, and ADA compliance.

University of Oklahoma – Max Westheimer Airport, Oklahoma

  • Amount: $2 million
  • Purpose: Construction of a new ATCT to address line of sight and security issues, ADA compliance, and energy-efficient HVAC systems.

Valley International Airport, Texas

  • Amount: $2 million
  • Purpose: Construction of a new replacement ATCT to correct line of sight, ensure ADA compliance, and address structural integrity issues.

Jefferson City Memorial Airport, Missouri

  • Amount: $1.3 million
  • Purpose: Construction of a new ATCT to replace the temporary tower facility, enhancing operational efficiency.

Bend Municipal Airport, Oregon

  • Amount: $1.29 million
  • Purpose: Construction of a new ATCT to meet evolving aviation needs.

View a data visualization of all the airports receiving funding.

Conclusion

This funding is from the FAA’s Airport Infrastructure Grants Federal Contract Tower Competitive Grant program, and comes on the heels of nearly $1 billion in funding for 114 airports across the country through the Airport Terminals Program.

These grants continue efforts to improve safety by upgrading and building control towers in small towns and at regional airports.

They seek to repair, improve, modernize, replace or relocate airport-owned towers and install communications equipment. 

The FAA’s allocation of $20 million underscores a concerted effort to revitalize aviation infrastructure, ensuring safety, efficiency, and economic vitality across the nation.

These investments not only enhance operational capabilities but also underscore a commitment to modernizing critical aviation facilities.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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