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Biden-Harris Administration Allocates $20 Million to Modernize U.S. Airport Traffic Control Towers

The Biden-Harris Administration, through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is investing $20 million to modernize 20 small and regional airport traffic control towers across the U.S., impacting 17 states. This initiative is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, aimed at rejuvenating infrastructure across the nation.

The investment, sourced from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, targets smaller and regional airports to enhance safety and support essential aviation operations, including commercial and cargo flights, emergency services, agricultural aviation, and flight training.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg highlighted this move as evidence of the Administration’s commitment to upgrading America’s aviation system. He emphasized the importance of providing resources to smaller communities for air traffic control modernizations.

The FAA’s Associate Administrator for Airports, Shannetta R. Griffin, P.E., stated that these investments would improve airport safety, create jobs, and stimulate local economies. She underscored the importance of supporting the personnel working in these facilities and enhancing communication with pilots.

The funding will support a range of projects, including the construction of new towers, upgrades to existing structures, and enhancements meeting modern standards.

Airports receiving funding today include:

  • $2 million to Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport in Arizona: This award funds Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) improvements identified in the ATCT Facility Needs Assessment that was funded by an FY2023 FAA Contract Tower grant. Improvements include fire protection, FAA communications and other equipment, security, electrical, mechanical, interior enhancements, and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • $2 million to University of Oklahoma – Max Westheimer Airport in Norman, Oklahoma: This award funds a portion of the construction of a new ATCT to replace the existing facility. The replacement will correct line of sight and security issues, meet ADA compliance, and be fitted with energy efficient HVAC and associated systems.
  • $2 million to Valley International Airport in Harlingen, Texas: This award funds a portion of the construction of for a new replacement ATCT to correct the line of sight, ensure ADA compliance, and address structural integrity issues.
  • $1.3 million to Jefferson City Memorial Airport in Missouri: This award funds a portion of the construction of an ATCT with a 435-square-foot floor inside the tower to replace the 1973 temporary tower facility.
  • $1.29 million to Bend Municipal Airport in Oregon: This award funds a portion of the construction of a new ATCT.
  • $1.2 million to Griffiss International Airport in Rome, New York: This award funds the rehabilitation of the existing 40-year-old ATCT. The project will include replacement of the roof, lighting, flooring, window shades, and aged communication and recording equipment. The project will also renovate the restroom and break rooms, improve the electrical and security systems, and repair windows.
  • $1.2 million to Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pennsylvania: This award funds phase II of rehabilitating the existing 43-year-old ATCT and includes the installation of a new elevator.
  • $1.1 million to Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus, Mississippi: This award funds the rehabilitation of the existing 20-year-old ATCT to include the elevator, roof, mechanical, lighting, windows, interior and exterior finishes, and building systems.
  • $1.05 million to Mankato Regional Airport in Minnesota: This award funds the first phase for an ATCT construction to include the required National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment, and architectural and engineering design.
  • $1 million to Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Orlando, Florida: This award funds the design of a replacement ATCT to meet the current FAA visual performance criteria increasing the eye height from 43 feet to 85 feet.
  • $1 million to Albuquerque Double Eagle II Airport in New Mexico: This award funds the rehabilitation and upgrade of the ATCT to include a new HVAC system, new roof, addition of LED lighting fixtures, replacement of elevator controls and equipment, replacement of cab solar shades, replacement of the emergency generator, and reconfiguration of controller consoles.
  • $850,000 to Cheyenne Regional Airport in Wyoming: This award funds ATCT building improvements including water intrusion sealant and prevention, door and window replacement, HVAC and electrical improvements and other general repairs.
  • $750,000 to Olive Branch Airport in Mississippi: This award funds the rehabilitation and upgrade of the existing ATCT including communication equipment, roof, windows, shades, and airfield lighting control.
  • $675,000 to Cobb County International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia: This award funds the replacement of equipment in the existing ATCT on the tower minimum equipment list that have reached the end of their useful lives.
  • $620,628 to Victoria Regional Airport in Texas: This award funds the upgrading of critical communications and weather reporting equipment in the existing ATCT.
  • $500,000 to Fullerton Municipal in California: This award funds the rehabilitation of portions of the ATCT with improvements including an ADA compliant stairway, restroom upgrade, sound insulation, IT/security, lighting, and electrical and utility upgrades.
  • $500,000 to Ardmore Municipal Airport in Oklahoma: This award funds the renovation of the existing ATCT to include new windows, HVAC system, and communications equipment.
  • $360,000 to Caldwell Executive Airport in Idaho: This award funds the preliminary design and environmental study for a new ATCT.
  • $350,000 to Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field in Michigan: This award funds improvements to the existing ATCT to include upgrading communication equipment and installing shades for all tower cab windows.
  • $254,372 to Lawrence J. Timmerman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: This award funds improvements to the existing ATCT to include replacement windows, exterior doors, metal facade panels and insulation.

The FAA has detailed plans for each recipient, aiming to improve facilities ranging from communication equipment upgrades to comprehensive building rehabilitations. These improvements are crucial for maintaining safety standards and supporting the aviation community.

This funding is part of the FAA’s Airport Infrastructure Grants Federal Contract Tower Competitive Grant program, following nearly $1 billion allocated for 114 airports nationwide. The efforts are a testament to the Administration’s commitment to improving airport infrastructure, enhancing safety, and fostering economic growth.

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents a historic investment in the nation’s infrastructure, aiming to rebuild and modernize for a more competitive future. With over $427 billion announced for infrastructure projects, the Administration is paving the way for significant improvements across the country.

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