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Mon, Nov 05, 2007

IDP Gets New Control Tower

Now A Class D Airport

With more and more Cessnas buzzing around Independence Municipal Airport (IDP) -- some of them turbine-powered -- the time was right to add a control tower to the Kansas facility. On Monday, Cessna announced the opening of an FAA air traffic control tower providing services to the new Class D airspace there.

Five controllers staff the tower, which is located at the south end of Cessna's flight hangar and is operational seven days a week from 0700 to 1900 local time.

"This is another milestone in the expansion of the Independence facility," said Rod Holter, Cessna vice president and general manager, Independence. "With the increase in traffic following the successful launch of Mustang production here, installing a tower was the right thing to do for the convenience and safety of our customers and our employees who fly."

Three commemorative flights were conducted Monday to celebrate the opening of the control tower. A Cessna Skyhawk 172R -- the first aircraft produced at the Independence plant -- will perform the first tower controlled takeoff. The first landing will be executed by a Citation Mustang. Finally, the first transient arrival will be made by a CJ2 carrying Holter, Will Dirks, vice president, Cessna Flight Operations and John Fowler, Cessna senior facilities specialist along with Independence Mayor Rick Mott and City Manager Paul Sasse.

It is anticipated the Independence airport will experience in excess of 50,000 operations annually with the Tower providing positive traffic control and separation, significantly enhancing overall airport operational safety.



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