New Control Tower Dedicated at Sarasota Bradenton International

"The new facility will provide our controllers with greater visibility of the airfield, and our investment in technology will enhance their ability to provide safe and efficient air traffic services for the Sarasota Bradenton community," said Michael O'Harra, regional administrator of FAA's Southern Region.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority, and the Florida Department of Transportation dedicated a new air traffic control tower at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport on Sept. 10. The 128-foot-tall tower cost $24.8 million and has been funded by the three organizations under a unique agreement, according to FAA's news release.

It says FAA invested $7.2 million in the new tower design, engineering, and electronic equipment, which the agency installed and will maintain. SMAA funded $8.9 million for construction and will own and maintain the building. FDOT contributed $8.7 million for tower construction. The facility includes a 9,000-square-foot base building that houses equipment, administrative offices, and training rooms, and it has an updated voice communications system, radio transmitter, and flight data processor, which controllers use to communicate with other FAA facilities and the airport.

Air traffic controllers working in the 525-square-foot tower cab handle flights within a 10-mile radius of the airport up to 4,000 feet in altitude. In 2017, the tower handled 104,540 takeoffs and landings. A total of 34 FAA employees work at the new facility, 20 in air traffic and 14 in technical operations.

"The Federal Aviation Administration is proud to celebrate the new tower and our working together with the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority and Florida Department of Transportation. The new facility will provide our controllers with greater visibility of the airfield, and our investment in technology will enhance their ability to provide safe and efficient air traffic services for the Sarasota Bradenton community," said Michael O'Harra, regional administrator of FAA's Southern Region.

"The Airport Authority is proud to have partnered with the FAA and FDOT on this unique opportunity to build a new air traffic control tower. SRQ aviation users, and the local community will benefit from having this new state-of-the-art facility," added Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of the airport.

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