Pilots in the busy Florida airspace are now working with a new tower that was officially dedicated this week at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “The new facility will provide our controllers with greater visibility of the airfield, and our investment in technology will enhance their ability to provide safe and efficient air traffic services for the Sarasota Bradenton community,” said Michael O’Harra, the FAA’s regional administrator. The tower, which cost about $25 million, is staffed by 20 controllers and 14 technical staff. They handle more than 100,000 take-offs and landings per year.
The new facility includes an updated voice communications system, radio transmitter and flight data processor. A 9,000-square-foot base building houses equipment, administrative offices and training rooms. The redevelopment plan for the airport, which launched 10 years ago, also opens up more than 90 acres of airport property for development. The FAA, Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority and Florida Department of Transportation jointly funded the project.