Mon, Aug 02, 2004
Two-year operational target date for "busiest tower in the
By ANN Contributors Rose and John Dorcey
Excitement was in the air as Winnebago County, State of
Wisconsin and federal officials broke ground today for a new air
traffic control tower at Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh (WI).
Officials at the ceremony spoke highly of the governmental
cooperation at all levels. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said
that the new tower would be truly "state of the art" and would
service a true wonder of air traffic control like AirVenture. The
Wittman Regional Airport tower becomes "the busiest air traffic
control tower in the world" during the annual AirVenture
Towering over the existing three-decade old, 67-foot facility
that is currently in operation, the new 125-foot (controller eye
level) structure will be about twice the height of the existing
one, offering controllers unobstructed views of the entire
airport. Construction will begin in early 2005 with an
expected completion date of summer 2006.
"The new tower will provide a 'boost' to air traffic controllers
who will have a better view of the activities at the airport," said
Frank Busalacchi, Secretary of the Wisconsin DOT. "It will also
provide a boost to the economy of the entire region, and will
enhance safety for those using this airport throughout the year, as
well as during the AirVenture event. Our Governor Jim Doyle clearly
understands and supports efforts like this that encourage economic
development and promote public safety."
The project began nearly four years ago as a joint state and
local effort. It has since grown into a five million dollar
federally-funded project. The tower will include a 6,000
square-foot ground facility that will house offices, conference and
training areas along with maintenance, utility and storage spaces.
The new tower cab will be sixty percent larger than the existing
one and will contain state-of-the-art electronics.
Architects for the project are Omni Associates of Appleton (WI),
who are teaming with PBS and J of Coco (FL). Omnni will design the
entire tower facility and will build the ground facility. PBS and
J, known as air traffic control tower experts, will handle the
tower and cab portion of the project. The two firms are working
closely with engineer Dave Johnson, Wisconsin DOT Airport Project
Manager for Wittman Regional Airport.
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