Joanne Kulachok, PE Managing the Midfield Satellite Concourse Ramp Control Tower at LAX
The $1.6 billion design-build Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) is currently under construction at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A unique feature of the new concourse is the Ramp Control Tower (RCT). The function of the RCT is to direct airline traffic on the apron of the MSC and also provide visibility of two taxiways which are obstructed from view by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower. The RCT must be fully functional for the Midfield Satellite Concourse to open and will be operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Airport Operations. It is scheduled to be complete by June 2020.
The MSC Ramp Control Tower is a vital component to keep airline traffic moving safely and efficiently. This is a one-of-a-kind project for LAX, as only a few airports in the United States that have RCTs. The 880 square foot tower must have 360-degree visibility. This is a challenge given that both power and communications provided to the cab level, as well as to the multiple antennae, are located on the roof. The RCT will include 10 workstations for staff and the custom furniture will be constructed specifically to accommodate the workstations and equipment. The communications component of the project is complicated and linkage to the FAA Air Traffic Control Tower is required to meet federal security standards. Connections to LAX’s central communications center must tie into existing equipment and procedures. As a result, the design of the systems for the RCT requires specialized expertise offered only by three companies in the US.
KKCS Construction Manager Joanne Kulachok, PE has been working at LAX in several different capacities since 2002 and currently manages the RCT project, serving as the Owner’s Representative. The scope of the RCT project draws upon many different skills such as coordination with Airport Operations, LAWA IT, and technical subject matter experts, as well as cost and schedule.