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New ATC Tower coming to NAS Whiting Field’s North Field

14 May 2021

From Susan Brink

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a $15.1 million firm-fixed-price task order, May 12, to Web, LLC doing business as WEBCO (small business) for construction of a new Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field’s North Air Field.  

The new ATC tower will replace the current tower, which is not suited to meet the demanding fixed wing training requirements for the Navy.

“We’re excited about the award for the new North Field ATC tower at NAS Whiting Field,” said NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Flores. “This will allow our air traffic controllers to work and support our aviation training mission in a facility that meets Navy air training and operations requirements and provides a better working environment for our Sailors.”

The current ATC tower is too small to support the mission. Air traffic controllers work within a tight space that should be twice the size given the amount of staffing required. Any disruptions in the training pipeline, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, would have a catastrophic impact on the output of naval fixed wing pilots.

Back in March, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addressed this issue by sending a letter to Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker asking that the Navy’s budget request include additional funding for this project.

“It’s been a long-anticipated project, and we’re thankful for the support of our local, state and Congressional representatives who helped move the ball forward,” said Flores.

The work to be performed provides for design and construction of a new state-of-the-art standalone ATC tower. It includes installation of two additional telecommunication conduits for future infrastructure upgrades adjacent to what is already being provided for the new tower.

Other additions include sunshade devices to windows on elevations with direct sun exposure, a high pedestrian canopy, and the extension of building services and circulation, which includes stairs and an elevator.

Work will be performed in Milton, Florida and is expected to be completed by May 2024.

Small businesses play a vital role in the American economy - employing half of our country's workforce, creating nearly two out of every three new American jobs, and often being the source of the next great American innovation. NAVFAC Southeast strives to meet its goals and build on its successes by providing contract opportunities to these businesses.

“NAVFAC Southeast invests in small businesses to support our national defense,” said John Bazylewicz, NAVFAC Southeast assistant deputy director for Small Business. “Small businesses fuel the American dream, which grows the local and federal economies that ultimately strengthen the warfighter.”

Bazylewicz explained that small businesses provide construction, professional and supported services expertise that support the Navy’s mission and the men and women in uniform. It is through strong policy and sound business processes that NAVFAC is able to develop capabilities based strategies that consider program risks, cost, schedule and technical requirements that help meet the expectations of supported commanders while supporting public policy objectives.

Each year NAVFAC establishes target goals for Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Historically Underutilized Business Zone Small Business (HUBZONE), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Women-Owned Small Business categories. Utilizing these small business concerns to the maximum extent practicable is a matter of National interest with both social and economic benefits.

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