FAA Opens ATC Tower At Cessna Plant

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So, how busy is your aircraft plant that it needs its own tower? The FAA started daily 7 a.m.-to-7 p.m. staffing of an air traffic control tower at Independence, Kan., last week and Cessna’s piston single and Mustang entry-level jet traffic is the main reason. "This is another milestone in the expansion of the Independence facility," Rod Holter, manager of Cessna’s Independence plant, said in a news release. "With the increase in traffic following the successful launch of Mustang production here, installing a tower was the right thing to do for the convenience and safety of our customers and our employees who fly." The tower is at the south end of the factory and employs five controllers looking after the newly designated Class D airspace at Independence. There was some ceremony to the first day of controlled operations last Wednesday. A Cessna 172R, the first model produced in Independence, did the first controlled takeoff and a Mustang the first landing; the first transient flight was a CJ2 with Cessna brass aboard.