TULSA, OK – November 11, 2021 – On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust (TAIT) approved the selection of LEO A DALY, a global planning, architecture, engineering and interiors firm, to lead the design for a new air traffic control (ATC) tower and TRACON facility at Tulsa International Airport.
TAIT received proposals from five different consultants, and LEO A DALY was chosen as the most qualified and experienced in air traffic control tower projects. The firm will develop plans and specifications to remove and replace the existing air traffic control tower, including the TRACON and base buildings. The design should be completed in March 2023, and by May 2023, TAIT will be soliciting bids for construction. The award for engineering and design services was just over $3.3 million, while the estimated cost to construct a new ATC tower is approximately $40 million.
“LEO A DALY is pleased to bring our industry-leading expertise in control tower design to Tulsa International Airport,” said Avery M Sarden, AIA, Vice President, Director of Operations for LEO A DALY. “Our design goal is to provide a comfortable and state-of-the-art workplace for FAA and airport employees to enjoy, while enhancing the airport’s ability to adapt, evolve and grow over the next 50 years.”
The current ATC tower at Tulsa International Airport was commissioned in 1958, and was completed by 1961, making the tower over 60 years old. Building modifications have been made to accommodate changing operational needs; however, the tower does not meet present day building code. The average age of an air traffic control tower in the U.S. is roughly 30 years old, making the tower at TUL over twice the average age.
“The maintenance needs and costs to modify the existing tower have grown exponentially in recent years, making it difficult to provide basic facilities in a reliable operating environment for air traffic controllers,” said Alexis Higgins, CEO of TAIT. “Our priority is to ensure the users of Tulsa International Airport and northeast Oklahoma are able to operate within a complex air traffic environment with the full attention of air traffic controllers in a modern facility. Engaging LEO A DALY is an exciting first step in our journey to build new air traffic facilities.”
The current tower at TUL stands 157’ above ground elevation, and the new tower will be 255’ to the top of the tower; the increased height will improve visibility for controllers. The tower cab will contain 550 square feet of floor space and will contain all new FAA equipment. The new TRACON and base building will contain approximately 13,000 square feet. Location of the new tower will be approximately 1,500‘ west of the current tower. The old tower, TRACON, and base building will be removed once the new tower is commissioned.