TRAVERSE CITY — The old air traffic control tower at Cherry Capital Airport is no more.
Construction workers recently brought down the 80-foot tower that was built in 1975.
“It was long overdue to come down,” said Ron Hubbard, air traffic manager at Cherry Capital.
Airport Director Kevin Klein said air traffic controllers started using the new 150-foot-tall tower a year ago.
“The standards for runway visual zones changed and the old tower sat in the runway visual zone so, therefore, it had to be removed,” Klein said. “The reason for the height of the new tower is you have to be able to look straight down at the busiest intersection of the airport, which is where the Coast Guard and (Northwestern Michigan College) aircraft taxi in and out. They had to be up high to see that intersection, which is right at the base of the new tower.”
Hubbard said the new tower offers controllers an extensive array of upgraded equipment including digital radios, improved tower radar displays and digital lighting.