Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL) identified a need to replace its existing airport traffic control tower (ATCT). The existing facility is obsolete and does not meet all current FAA criteria. The newest FAA siting order was issued in early 2006 and established revised requirements for site location and cab height selection for any new Federally-funded ATCT used by the FAA, including Contract Towers and Non-Federal Towers. The new order also includes a revised process for review and approval of the siting study report. Amherst Consulting Company completed a study that included the investigation of potential ATCT sites on both the north and south sides of the airfield, with specific consideration given to the aerobatic performance box criteria implemented during the annual Sun ‘N Fun event.
As part of this project, Amherst Consulting Company performed siting analysis and prepared construction documents for the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS). The AWOS automatically measures meteorological conditions and broadcasts aviation weather reports which can be received by aircraft operating up to 10,000 feet above ground level and 25 nautical miles from the AWOS. Pilots use the aviation weather information provided by the AWOS to partially fulfill the requirements of various FARs. For runways with instrument approaches, the AWOS weather report allows for the use of the published minimum decent altitude.