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New Air Traffic Control Tower Improves Military Base

By Kevin Wilcox

The engineering team faced the challenge of designing emergency egress and redundant HVAC systems for a key part of Fort Drum's airport infrastructure.

Ft. Drum Control TowerMay 3, 2017—Fort Drum, the home in northern New York of the U.S. Army's 10 th Mountain Division, is sandwiched between Lake Erie and the Adirondack Mountains. Having expanded dramatically in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the addition of 35 mi of roads, 130 new buildings, and housing for thousands of new families, the base has recently turned its attention to a master plan that has increased the extent of its aircraft operations. Recent additions of runways, hangars, and maintenance areas have made Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield one of the largest airfields in the U.S. Army. The final piece of the expansion puzzle is a new air traffic control tower.

The new tower is dramatically larger and taller than its predecessor, which remained until the new tower was fully commissioned. The new tower reaches a height of roughly 175 ft, and its 900 sq ft cab is large enough to accommodate both the radar systems and the airfield operations.

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