"Tower/TRACON Ground Breaking"
J. Randolph Babbitt, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
October 18, 2011

Tower/TRACON Ground Breaking

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Secretary. And thanks to all of you for joining us here today.

Any time we break ground on an improvement to our nation’s air traffic control system, we enhance safety, we improve efficiency and we move our aviation system to a higher level. We make it more competitive.

Today we run the largest and safest air traffic control system in the world. Improvements like the new tower and radar facility here inClevelandare moving us forward into the Next Generation of air traffic control.

The state ofOhiois a vital part of America’s aviation industry. Jet engines and other key aircraft systems are built right here, by American workers. And this tower enhances Cleveland’s role as a gateway to the mid-west, moving people and freight with greater efficiency.

Controllers here handle an average of 500 take offs and landings each day. Now, they will have the latest equipment to do their jobs.  

This $69 million project will replace the radar facility and tower, which date from the 1980s. The new tower will be 324 feet tall – more than 100 feet taller than today’s tower. 

The new tower will give controllers better lines of sight on the airport. Controllers will also use the latest in NextGen technology to enhance safety and efficiency. State-of-the-art equipment will give them more precise, system-wide information about weather and flight data.

As the Secretary said, the construction of this tower and radar facility will create new construction jobs and have a positive ripple effect on the economy. What’s good for aviation is good for America.

If we delay infrastructure investments, the long term cost to our nation – to our passengers and our environment – will far exceed the cost of going forward with the technology now.

I want to thank you for your time today and for your interest in our work to improve our nation’s aviation system.

 I’d like to hand it back over to Ricky (Smith, Director of Port Control).