For Immediate Release

August 13, 2010
Contact: Kathleen Bergen
Phone: (404) 305-5101


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration announced more than $9 million in upgrades funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that will make flights at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport safer, more efficient and more reliable.

 “These projects are just a few examples of the terrific work being done around the country thanks to the Recovery Act,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Construction workers and engineers are helping to modernize and repair our nation’s commercial and general aviation airports.”

On Friday, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt marked the beginning of a $5 million ARRA project to install a new approach lighting system for Runway 27L. The new lighting system will provide visual information to pilots as they approach the runway in bad weather. It will improve airport capacity, operational capability and safety.

“Landing is one of the most critical phases of flight. This approach lighting system will give pilots an extra layer of safety,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The Recovery Act is responsible for safety enhancements and upgrades at airports and FAA facilities nationwide.”

The Recovery Act also funded an additional $4.2 million in upgrades to aviation facilities around the Atlanta area.

More than $1.5 million in ARRA funds went to install a new engine generator system for the FAA’s airport traffic control tower. The tower now has two engine generator systems, which will ensure essential back-up power for air traffic control operations at the world’s busiest airport. The system will provide highly reliable on-site power if both commercial power sources feeding the air traffic control tower fail during severe weather in Atlanta. The tower can operate all air traffic equipment at full capacity and with high reliability on the engine generator.

ARRA also funded a $2.6 million power distribution system for the National Network Control Center (NNCC) in Hampton, Ga., which processes pilot flight plans. The new power system is comprised of two commercial power feeds, a standby generator, two uninterruptible power systems with battery back-ups and a power distribution system. Maintaining a fully-functioning NNCC is critical to efficient operation of the national airspace system.

Under ARRA, $1.3 billion has been made available nationwide for both airport improvement projects and air traffic control facility and system upgrades. Because of low construction bids for projects, more Recovery Act dollars were available for additional facilities and equipment and airport projects. ARRA grants have been distributed to airports that serve commercial passengers, cargo and general aviation.

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