FAA Solicits Designs for Future Air Traffic Control Towers

A nationwide call seeks a design that can be built and operated sustainably at regional and municipal airports.

The FAA is soliciting designs for control towers at regional and municipal airports that will answer the need for sustainable aviation solutions.

“For communities large and small, the air traffic control tower is an icon. We want architects and engineers from every corner of the country to help build the safe and sustainable towers of the future,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

The callout comes as the FAA has more than 100 aging control towers at regional and municipal airports across the U.S. that will need to be replaced in the near future.

The goal of the nationwide call to action is to develop a standardized design for towers that will:

  • Meet operational and cost requirements
  • Maximize energy efficiency
  • Be easy to modify according to height needs
  • Be rapidly constructed

On November 9 at 2 p.m. ET, the FAA will host an online forum on YouTube to answer questions from interested businesses. Before the webinar, the FAA plans to raise awareness of the opportunity to minority-owned and disadvantaged businesses.

The official registration for U.S. based engineering and architectural firms will open November 16.

Phases

Over the course of three phases, companies will submit and present their designs and ideas.

Phase 1: Request for information (RFI): Architectural and engineering firms may submit a general project idea and approach statement.

Phase 2: Request for qualifications (RFQ): In Phase 2, the up to 15 selected firms will be asked to provide resumes, relevant experience and financial capabilities.

Phase 3: Request for offer (RFO): In Phase 3, the FAA will evaluate the design package and cost estimate from each of the six firms selected from Phase 2.

After Phase 3, the FAA will award the top-rated applicant a contract to fully design the new air traffic control tower concept.

This approach is similar to that used by the FAA to develop a modular design concept for control towers, where the agency selected a company headed by I.M. Pei.

Some of the rules of the competition.
Some of the rules of the competition. FAA

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