L3Harris COO Chris Kubasik and Airport Director Greg Donovan issue first clearances
MELBOURNE, Fla. (October 16, 2019) – The new air traffic control tower (ATCT) at Orlando Melbourne International MLB Airport is officially open for operation after the first “Cleared for Takeoff” was given at 6:00 a.m. this morning to Delta Air Lines (DL1738) by Chris Kubasik, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer at L3Harris Technologies, Inc. Just moments later, Airport Executive Director Greg Donovan, A.A.E., gave the first landing clearance to a Piper PA-28 Cherokee piloted by local Melbourne Area Pilot Association President Ray Liles.
“Today, MLB has landed a major accomplishment with the opening of our new air traffic control tower,” said Donovan. “The new facility features the industry’s most innovative technology from our partners at L3Harris and has helped further not only MLB’s commitment to safety, but airports across the globe. The airport’s new tower stands ready to provide L3Harris with a platform of further developing its technologies and achieve new breakthroughs for the aviation industry.”
MLB’s new state-of-the-art facility is located across the street from the world headquarters of L3Harris, the leading provider of air traffic management systems.
“Melbourne’s new air traffic control tower showcases how L3Harris technologies developed for the FAA’s nationwide network benefit air travelers right here in Brevard County,” said Chris Kubasik, President and COO, L3Harris. “It is a testament to the 1,000-plus local employees who have provided the FAA with ultra-reliable systems for more than 20 years.”
While the airport was constrained to a holding pattern after it completed the building’s construction in 2018, Donovan worked assiduously with the Federal Aviation Administration to overcome operational challenges. These feats turned into catalysts for nationwide policy change that will ultimately help other airports attain similar facility improvements.
“The Florida Department of Transportation became an essential partner in funding the new air traffic control tower by graciously matching the Melbourne Airport Authority’s contribution,” said Airport Authority Chairman Jack L. Ryals. “We thank our state partners for joining the authority’s mission to provide MLB tenants, users and our community with modernized infrastructure and facilities for safe and efficient operations.”
The most up-to-date navigation, communication and air traffic management systems from L3Harris have been installed in the new ATCT, providing MLB’s controllers with the necessary tools to carry out their responsibilities with safety and efficiency. The new capabilities will accommodate MLB’s rapid growth on its three runways, which have experienced a 20% increase in aircraft operations year to date. The robust improvements in ATC services has positioned MLB to support future growth.
ABOUT ORLANDO MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MLB)
Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB), named Florida’s 2019 Commercial Service Airport of the Year by FDOT, serves the Central Florida coast with three runways, a 200,000 sq. ft. terminal and 40,000 sq. ft. customs facility. It serves nearly 500,000 passengers annually with current nonstop service to Philadelphia (PHL) and Charlotte (CLT) on American Airlines, and Atlanta (ATL) on Delta Air Lines. MLB is an epicenter for aviation, aerospace and defense growth, home to Northrop Grumman, L3Harris, Embraer Executive Jets, Collins Aerospace, Thales and more.