PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local officials today dedicated a new, environmentally friendly airport traffic control tower at Palm Springs International Airport. The tower replaces a facility that served the airport since 1967.
"Safety is our highest priority and this new tower will enhance both safety and efficiency for everyone traveling through and working at this airport,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Palm Springs Tower supports President Obama’s call to invest in a transportation system that will help our economy grow, helping meet the needs of the Palm Springs community today and into the future.”
The new tower is 150 feet tall – two-and-a-half times the height of the old tower – and provides air traffic controllers with better sight lines, as well as a more efficient work space. It sits on top of a 7,000 square-foot base building.
“This tower is part of our commitment to maintaining the world’s safest aviation system,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Palm Springs is a vastly different airport than it was in 1967, and this new tower will give controllers better views of planes on the airfield and approaching the airport.”
The total project cost, including construction, electronics and equipment installation, was approximately $25 million. A $13.9 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant paid for the construction, which began in June 2010.
The tower project includes a host of money-saving green features, including coated glass panels that reduce radiant heat inside the controller work area, decorative rock landscaping that requires no watering, and motion sensor-controlled lighting. Additionally, the contractor will soon start building a covered parking structure with solar panels on the roof that the FAA expects will produce a significant amount of the facility’s annual electrical needs when it’s completed in late 2014.
Palm Springs International Airport serves 10 major airlines including Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Sun Country, United, US Airways, Virgin America and WestJet. It had about 58,000 takeoffs and landings in 2012.