After 40 years of service, the air traffic control tower at Barkley Regional Airport is set to undergo a major renovation project that is expected to begin in May.
According to the airport, the renovation calls for the existing tower to be dismantled down to its metal skeleton, with additional supports being added to bring the tower, built in 1974, inline with current seismic codes.
It will then have a brand new roof and HVAC system installed before being re-skinned. Then, the final phase of the 12-16 month project calls for the tower “cab” to be outfitted with brand new computers, weather related equipment and other systems that controllers are anxious to have at their disposal.
“We will be going from slips and hand-written logs, to new computer terminals with touch screen interfaces,” said John Oates PAH’s Air Traffic Control Manager.
A “temporary” control tower was brought to the airport from Atlanta, and placed on the airfield adjacent to the terminal and FAA/TSA building. The airfield lighting controls, communications equipment, and other machines had to be connected to the temporary tower, a project that itself has taken 10 weeks.
Air traffic controllers will move into the temporary tower on May 19. They will continue to use this tower for all operations until the renovation is complete.
“We want everyone to know that all airport operations will remain unaffected through the course of the renovation,” said Airport Manager Richard Roof. “With the temporary tower in place, Barkley will still be a tower controlled airport for the duration of the project. “
Money for the “frame-up renovation” was actually set aside as part of the FAA’s 2011-2012 budget, but delays in projects at other airports caused the start date to be pushed back. Then last year, the project was put in jeopardy when the FAA threatened to close the 149 contract towers as part of the sequestration mandated cuts. Congress acted to protect the towers, through 2015, and the project was again green-lighted and in February work began to prepare for the start of the project.
For more information contact Eddie Grant or Richard Roof at 270-744-0521.
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