Leesburg To Test Remote Tower

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A temporary mobile air traffic control tower will be operating this summer at Leesburg Executive Airport, in Virginia, requiring special procedures from pilots. Pilots flying both VFR and IFR will need to contact the tower, NBAA said this week. The tests, which are part of the airport’s Remote Control Tower experiment, will run June 5 through Aug.12, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, and then from 4 p.m. to midnight, Aug. 13 through Sept. 8. Pilots using the airport during the test period, even those who frequently fly into the airport, should pay close attention to Notams, said Heidi Williams, director of air traffic services for NBAA. Williams stressed that pilots should continue to follow the conditions of the JYO Maneuvering Area, which are detailed in the Special Flight Rules Area Notam.

The cost of implementing a remote tower “is significantly less than doing a full stand-up tower,” Williams said. Such remote facilities offer the “benefit of controlled traffic at airports that are unable to afford the construction and maintenance of a full, stand-alone tower.” Plus, it adds an enhanced layer of safety at what otherwise would be an uncontrolled airport, she said. The FAA is hosting a pilot town hall meeting on this issue at 7 p.m., May 25, at the airport.

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