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Firm selected to design new $40 million air traffic control tower at Tulsa International Airport
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Firm selected to design new $40 million air traffic control tower at Tulsa International Airport

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An American Airlines plane passes by the control tower at Tulsa International Airport. The tower was built in 1961 and will be replaced by one that conforms to today’s standards. 

The Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust has chosen a firm to lead the design for a new, roughly $40 million air traffic control and terminal radar approach control facility at Tulsa International Airport.

Selected from five consultants, Leo A Daly is a global planning, architecture, engineering and interiors firm based in Omaha, Nebraska.

It will develop plans and specifications to remove and replace the existing air traffic control tower, including the terminal radar approach control and base buildings. The design should be completed in March 2023, and the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust is scheduled to solicit bids for construction two months later.

The award for engineering and design services was just more than $3.3 million.

The Leo A Daly company “is pleased to bring our industry-leading expertise in control tower design to Tulsa International Airport,” Avery M. Sarden, vice president and director of operations, said in a statement.

“Our design goal is to provide a comfortable and state-of-the-art workplace for FAA and airport employees to enjoy while enhancing the airport’s ability to adapt, evolve and grow over the next 50 years.”

The current air traffic control tower was completed in 1961, and it doesn’t meet current building code. The average longevity of a control tower in the United States is about 30 years.

“The maintenance needs and costs to modify the existing tower have grown exponentially in recent years, making it difficult to provide basic facilities in a reliable operating environment for air traffic controllers,” airports trust CEO Alexis Higgins said in a statement.

“Our priority is to ensure the users of Tulsa International Airport and northeast Oklahoma are able to operate within a complex air traffic environment with the full attention of air traffic controllers in a modern facility.”

She said hiring Leo A Daly “is an exciting first step in our journey to build new air traffic facilities.”

Increasing visibility for controllers, the new tower will be 255 feet — 98 feet taller than the current one. The tower cab will contain 550 square feet of floor space and all new FAA equipment.

To be located roughly 1,500 feet west of the current tower, the new terminal radar approach control — or TRACON — and base building will encompass about 13,000 square feet. The existing tower, TRACON and base building will be removed once the new tower is commissioned.

Featured video: Firefighting contract at Tulsa airport goes to Wisconsin firm

Tulsa airport officials expect to save millions of dollars over the next five years.

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