Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / March 6, 2023
(Englewood, Colo.) The Centennial Airport received $4 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay for site selection, and engineering and design of a new air traffic control tower.
The money is part of nearly $1 billion in grant money the FAA is dispersing this year.
"As one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, it is extremely gratifying to receive these funds to invest in the future of our airport,” said Centennial Airport Executive Director Mike Fronapfel.
“Centennial Airport has played a pivotal role in the economic growth our region has seen, and we feel that this funding towards the construction of a new control tower will allow us to continue to assist in the economic growth in both Arapahoe and Douglas counties."
The Centennial Airport acts as the primary reliever for Denver International Airport. The Centennial Airport tower opened in 1985, overseeing over 14 million operations during the course of its life, but it needs to be replaced.
The new tower will be ADA-compatible and provide better visibility, allowing air traffic controllers to take advantage of new technology and better manage aircraft on approach.
The Centennial Airport said in a release the new tower will reduce congestion and delays, and increase aircraft fuel efficiency and overall airport efficiency.
According to the FAA’s National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident and Incident Data System, the Centennial Airport recorded 24 crashes during 2017-2022 that either occurred at the airport, took off or landed at the airport, or were in the near vicinity. Most of these crashes occurred during landing, with two occurring while climbing. Two crashes resulted in serious injury, while most caused no injuries.
Airport administration anticipates starting the site selection for the new tower this year. The design and construction timeline will be determined at a later date. The grant’s goal is to provide a “shovel-ready” project for future funding discussions.
Other Colorado airports that received grant money include:
- Durango-La Plata County Airport: $3.2 million for terminal rehabilitation
- Denver International Airport: $82 million for terminal improvements, including a replacement of the baggage handling system
- Colorado Springs Airport: $6 million for concourse modernization
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