MIA Air Traffic Controllers Refuse To Man Tower


MIA Air Traffic Controllers Refuse To Man Tower  

February 22, 2000, Miami, Florida, Construction on the new air traffic control tower is close to completion. However, air traffic controllers say they are not going to man the tower until the support columns are moved. The support columns for the new tower’s roof block a key and critical runway and may not allow the controllers to see planes. Air traffic controllers say it’s a safety hazard, and they will not work in the new tower until the problem is fixed.

Monday night, air traffic controllers announced a solution is not in the near future. “Our preference would be for the roof support columns to be removed... short of that if the FAA is unwilling to do that... our preference would be to stay in the old tower,” says President of the Air Traffic Union, Andy Cantwell. The FAA is insisting the tower can be operated safely. But the Union says the only way they’ll work there is if the beams are torn down and the project is virtually started over. So, the question now is whether the FAA will agree with the controllers, and if so whether they will mandate changes. But, changes mean more money for the tower that has already cost taxpayers 21 million dollars. Throughout the Miami International Airport’s expansion, South Florida taxpayers have footed the bill for much of the construction, which has cost tens of millions of dollars. Now it appears that this design flaw could cost millions more. 

Tower sight blockage


Photo A: Was taken from the northwest corner of the tower cab looking east. What the photo shows is significant portions of Runway 9L and Runway 12 blocked and significant portions of several taxiways blocked (Mike, November, Papa, Zulu, Quebec, Whiskey & Yankee)

Photo B: Shows the view from the Local Control North (LCN) position in the tower looking north. From this view, Runway 9L and Runway 12 are partially blocked, Lima 1 intersection is blocked and Quebec 1 intersection is blocked. Runway 9L and Runway 12 runup area are partially blocked.



 ŠAvStop Online Magazine                                                                                                      Contact Us              Return To News