Air Traffic Control Tower Complex

Senator James M. Inhofe Air Traffic Control Tower Complex

 

Status

A site for the new tower has been selected and approved by the FAA. The tower height will be 243’ and will include a base building with TRACON operations.

TAIT has contracted with LEO A. Daly to complete the architectural and engineering work needed to craft the plans for a new tower. They have completed 100% of their work. Constructions bids were received in March 2024, and a contract was awarded in May 2024 to Flintco Construction. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held in August 2024.

 

Project Overview

Purpose

Provide a safe, functional, reliable facility for air traffic control services required to operate the national airspace system.

 

Justification

Background: TUL’s existing air traffic control tower (ATCT) was commissioned in 1958, making it one of the oldest towers within the FAA’s air traffic organization. Building modifications have been made throughout the years to accommodate changing operational needs; however, the tower does not meet present day building code. The facility’s maintenance needs are growing exponentially and must be addressed in order to preserve the safety, security, and continuity of the state’s air transportation system. The operational challenges only increased in a COVID protocol environment, while the resources to support maintenance and long-term capital needs became scarcer as the air transportation industry continues to experience weakened demand.

As the owner of the TUL ATCT, TAIT is requesting funding to complete the design and construction of a new ATCT and radar (TRACON) facility. The new facility will provide reliable infrastructure needed for the safe operation of air traffic within TUL’s approach and local control areas and will allow the facility to expand their services beyond their existing capabilities. In 2019, the FAA managed over 300,000 terminal operations from their Tulsa air traffic facilities. In addition to providing vital services for the safe operation or air traffic in northeast Oklahoma, the TUL facility serves as a redundant control facility for military and air traffic operations in the Oklahoma City area should those facilities experience a catastrophic disruption in service.

Impacted Users

  • In 2019, the TUL Tower provided services for 100,256 flight operations and the TRACON facility provide services for 205,577 flight operations.
  • All air traffic within a 50-mile radius of TUL including commercial service cargo and passenger carriers, military operators, private pilots, corporate charters, emergency responders and medical service providers.
  • Not only does TUL provide services in and out of the local area, Tulsa is a critical facility for commercial air traffic. TUL is frequently used by airlines during adverse weather events in the DFW area and is often an alternative for both domestic and international diversions when airline hubs are experiencing ground stops due to weather or irregular operations.
  • 72 companies (13,000 employees) located on airport property depend on safe, reliable air traffic control services in order to meet their operational needs including L3 Harris, Williams, QuikTrip, Zeeco, OneOK, Omni Air, and Intercontinental Jet Services.
  • The Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th fighter wing based at TUL requires ATC assistance when conducting daily flight operations in order to maintain the proficiency of their pilots and the separation of high-speed aircraft within the airspace. The 138th provides national defense support out of Ellington Field in Houston and rotates pilots monthly from the Tulsa base.
  • The C Company 1-244 Assault Helicopter Battalion of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, located on
    the east boundary of airport property, conducts frequent training flight operations and emergency exercises to maintain their mission readiness.
  • In addition to support to our local Air National Guard base, TUL’s tower provides daily Department of Defense support to McConnell AFB in Kansas, Sheppard AFB in Texas, and Vance, Tinker and Altus Air Force Bases in Oklahoma. TUL is a popular destination for military training because of our accessible air space, TUL’s approach procedures, and the airport’s 10,000-foot runway.
  • American Airlines Tech Ops Tulsa facility requires regular safety testing of aircraft after maintenance work is completed. ATC provides vital assistance in the routing of test flights, which is especially critical while testing mechanical and avionics on board the aircraft.
  • Tulsa’s central location serves as the hub of cargo operations for our region. Fed Ex, UPS, DHL along with several regional cargo carriers utilize TUL as their air transportation gateway for northeastern
    Oklahoma, southern Kansas, southwest Missouri, and northeast Arkansas. TUL’s cargo activity has grown steadily since 2015 and is expected to continue to develop with the growing presence of Amazon facilities adjacent to airport property.
  • The TUL air traffic facility provides all radar services to pilots traveling in and out of RVS, the busiest airport in Oklahoma, and one of the top 20 busiest general aviation airports in the United States.

Estimated Project Costs: $112M

Engineering Design: $4,615,402
Construction and Project Administration: $81,514,000
FAA Equipment and Services: $26,483,198
Total Projected Cost: $112,612,600

Grant Funding Sources
Tulsa County: $7,000,000
City of Tulsa: $7,000,000*
State of Oklahoma: $19,600,000
Federal Appropriation: $40,000,000
FAA Bipartisan Infrastructure ATP: $12,500,000
Total Grant Funds: $86,100,000

Funding Gap (TAIT) – $26,512,600

*This Project is supported in whole or in part by federal award number SLT 1498 awarded to the City of Tulsa by the United States Department of Treasury.

Timeline

  • Groundbreaking in August 2024
  • Construction August 2024 – May 2026
  • Commissioning May 2026 – December 2026
  • Acceptance and Operational Start December 2026

Vendors Used in Design

  • LEO A DALY for architecture and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design
  • Shaffer Stevens & Schaap for structural design
  • Garver for civil/site design
  • Kleinfelder for soil borings and geotechnical engineering
  • Connico for estimating.

Vendors Used in Construction

  • Flintco