Maxwell AFB lands $18 million for new air traffic control tower

Maxwell AFB

Montgomery-based Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base will receive $18 million from the Air Force’s Fiscal Year 2019 military construction account for a new air traffic control tower.

Alabama 2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby made the announcement Wednesday.

“Updating the Air Traffic Control Tower at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base is long overdue. I have personally climbed up the antiquated tower and can attest to how dangerous it is and how badly it needs to be replaced,” Roby said in a statement. “I am very pleased that this issue is being addressed through the recently passed military funding bill, and I look forward to seeing this improvement become reality as Maxwell continues to support the needs of the Air Force in the River Region, including the 187th Fighter Wing’s missions.”

Maxwell’s existing Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) was constructed in 1955 and is one of the oldest active ATCT in Air Force inventory and fails to meet current mission requirements.

“This needed upgrade will increase the base’s functionality by improving the structural conditions and enhancing the safety and visibility of all operations,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby. “Without the replacement tower, the current facility’s health and safety issues could result in ground accidents and costly damage or loss of assets.

Maxwell AFB is the second busiest distinguished visitor base in the Defense Department. Controllers in the current tower do not have 100 percent visual contact of all aircraft landing surfaces or ground controlled movement areas due to obstructed views. Further, the facility does not have an elevator and therefore does not meet National Fire Protection Association line safety code. It also has numerous additional health and safety issues resulting from the tower’s age and deterioration.

“This allocation is more than a construction project – this signifies that the Air Force and our congressional delegation recognizes and supports the long-term national significance of Montgomery’s military installations, international students, thought leadership, cyber defense and business systems it supplies to the Air Force,” added Montomgery Mayor Todd Strange.

The construction is expected to begin June 2019 and conclude December 2020.