The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cut over to a new air traffic control tower at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport early this morning. The new, 128 foot-tall tower will enable air traffic controllers to continue to provide the safest, most efficient service to flights at the busy Florida airport.
Air traffic controllers working in the 525 square-foot tower cab control flights up to 4,000 feet in altitude within a five-mile radius of SRQ; from five to 10 miles from the airport, they handle flights from 1,200 to 4,000 feet in altitude.
A total of 34 FAA employees work at the new facility, 20 in air traffic and 14 in technical operations, which maintains the FAA electronics equipment in the tower and on the airfield.
The FAA and the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority (SMAA) built the new tower under a unique agreement. The FAA funded the new tower design, engineering and electronic equipment. Agency technicians and engineers installed the electronics and will maintain the equipment. SMAA funded, constructed and owns the new tower. SMAA will maintain the facility, which includes a 9,000 square foot base building that houses equipment, administrative offices and training rooms.
The FAA and SMAA officially will dedicate the new facility in mid-September.