Testing of a remote air traffic control tower at Northern Colorado Regional Airport will enter a new phase by March 16, requiring pilots to pay particular attention to procedures.
The FAA recently briefed participants in the program, which has been in the works since 2017, advising that the mobile ATC tower that will provide ATC services at the previously nontowered airport will be operational starting no later than March 16. The tower’s hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, handling traffic on 118.4 MHz (121.65 for Ground; the common traffic advisory frequency will be changed to 118.4 MHz). A notam will be issued at least 72 hours prior to the start of ATC services.
AOPA Senior Director of Airspace, Air Traffic, and Aviation Security Rune Duke reminded local pilots to pay particular attention to the regulation covering operations near an airport in Class E airspace that requires pilots to contact the operating control tower within four nautical miles of the airport at or below 2,500 feet agl. Pilots should also check notams prior to flight.
The Colorado Division of Aeronautics funded the $8.8 million test program that will establish the second remote control tower location in the country, following Virginia’s Leesburg Municipal Airport. Remote towers are also online in Europe, and viewed as a cost-effective alternative to local staffing.