University Park, Pa. — Penn State's Board of Trustees today (Sept. 11) approved the final design and authorized the awarding of contracts for the construction of an air traffic control tower at University Park Airport, as designed by Mead & Hunt Inc. Architects of Madison, Wis.
The tower will improve efficiency and safety at and around the airport (see story at http://live.psu.edu/story/27609). The height and placement of the tower site were determined by the Federal Aviation Administration using criteria that would allow a view of critical aircraft operation areas. In addition to the tower, construction will include a new sidewalk, parking that meets American with Disabilities Act requirements, and security fencing, said Al Horvath, senior vice president for finance and business.
The first floor of the tower will provide space for mechanical and communications equipment. Floors two through six will include vertical shafts for an elevator, a pressurized exit stairway and cable and mechanical system chases to link the cab of the elevator with supporting equipment below.
Horvath added that an elevated octagonal tower cab would have a full 360-degree view for air traffic control operations and perimeter equipment.
"The tower was determined to be necessary by the Federal Aviation Administration and the University Park airport management. It will ensure a level of safety appropriate to the volume and type of aircraft operations University Park Airport currently supports and for aircraft that operate at and in the vicinity of the airport," Horvath said.
Construction of the tower will allow the University Park Airport to enter the FAA's Federal Contract Tower Program. A total of 242 airports in 46 states currently participate in this program.
Completion of the project is anticipated in October 2010. Horvath said the total project budget is $6.4 million, which is being funded by external grants.