For Immediate Release

June 20, 2002
Contact: Arlene Salac or Jim Peters
Phone: (718) 553-3015

The “can-do” attitude of the staff of the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic control tower at Pittsburgh International Airport has led to the facility’s selection as the FAA’s top Level 11 facility in the country for 2001.

“It’s a terrific honor for the men and women who provide air traffic control services in a busy, complex environment,” says Richard Pelkowski, manager, Air Traffic Services, Pittsburgh Air Traffic Control Tower.

FAA’s Director of Air Traffic Service, Bill Peacock, will present the national award to the air traffic control staff on Thursday, June 20, in a ceremony scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the tower. This is the first time that the Pittsburgh air traffic control tower has been selected for this award.

The Pittsburgh air traffic control facility handled more than 450,000 aircraft operations last year. In addition to air carrier, regional and commuter aircraft using Pittsburgh International Airport, the tower provided services to aircraft at 57 other area airports and heliports, including the fleet of lifeguard helicopters that operate to and from the downtown Pittsburgh area.

“The “Facility of the Year’ award is a recognition of the professionalism and teamwork exhibited by the facility’s air traffic controllers, airway facilities technicians and administrative support staff,’ adds Pelkowski. “The results speak for themselves: traffic moves through our airspace safely, orderly and expeditiously.”

The efforts that Pittsburgh Tower has put into place to improve operational efficiency, safety and security are among the reasons why it was selected as the top Level 11facility in the country. For example, FAA personnel worked with officials of the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant to make them familiar with the normal aircraft traffic flows in and around the plant following the issuance of notices establishing temporary flight restrictions above key facilities around the country. These briefings helped to clarify the potential impact that the restrictions would have on plant operations. Law enforcement officials who attended the briefings suggested that they could serve as a model for other FAA facilities.

“That’s just one examples of how we work with members of the aviation community in the Pittsburgh area to make this complex airspace more efficient and safe,” notes Pelkowski. “The development of these kinds of measures also is a reflection of the dedication and resourcefulness of the FAA personnel in Pittsburgh.”

There are XXX Level 11 air traffic control towers in the National Airspace System. They are considered the busiest air traffic control facilities in the country.

Eastern Region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia.