Mierzęcice Pyrzowice airport. 2020

Katowice 2022-01-14

Mierzęcice Pyrzowice airport.

New air traffic control tower.

The air traffic control tower (TWR) is often an airport symbol. Although the airport in Mierzęcice has been operating since 1940, it did not have an air traffic control tower for many years. During the time the 39th Fighter Aviation Regiment was stationed here, the role of the air traffic control tower was played by the Flight Command Post in the kiosk located on the truck. It was the so-called "Krasula" due to its black and white checkerboard painting.

TWR during construction. 2018 year. GoogleMaps photo
TWR during construction. 2018 year. GoogleMaps photo

The first building to support air traffic was built in 1978 by the Polish Army and operated by soldiers. Civilian controllers appeared in the tower in the mid-90s, when air traffic over Poland was gradually transferred to civilian agencies. In 1999, the first air traffic control tower was built next to Terminal A. It was necessary for the airport to obtain an airport certificate for international commercial traffic. The tower is 23 m high, from the ground level. Initially, 10 air traffic controllers worked in it. In the following years, commercial traffic in the port grew dynamically. In 2015, about 30 controllers were already working in the tower. After the expansion of the passenger terminals, the controllers began to have problems with the sight of the planes standing on the platform. The tower is too low and too tight for the people working here and for the communications and radiolocation equipment installed.

TWR is open in the period 1999 - 2019. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
TWR is open in the period 1999 - 2019. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Therefore, in 2016, PANSA decided to build a new air traffic control tower at the airport in Mierzęcice Pyrzowice. The need to build a new tower is also due to the expansion of the airport, including the construction of a new runway. The value of the contract for the construction of the facility and its equipment was PLN 25 million gross. The main contractor was Budimex, which has already built several similar facilities in Poland. The tower was located in the south-eastern part of the airport. The construction of the new tower started in March 2017. As a building, it was completed in January 2018 and has been equipped since then. The commissioning was planned for January 2019.

The new tower is 46 m high, and the operating level is 41 m. The tower is equipped with modern communication, radio navigation and surveillance devices as well as rest and refreshment facilities for personnel. In the tower there are rooms for the staff to rest, whose work is often stressful. There are social, technical and garage rooms. The tower has 1,800 m2 of usable space.

The tower in Mierzęcice Pyrzowice is the highest airport tower in Poland. The parallel tower at the Balice airport in Krakow is 42 m high, and the operating level is 36 m.

The tower has two basic parts. The high part and the low part. The lower part is a two-story building with a column and wall structure. The high part looks like an Olympic torch. It has a steel structure based on an internal truss with a staircase, elevator and technical lines. The truss rests on a reinforced concrete foundation. The tower is topped with a metal, steel roof. The façade of the tower was made in the already typical technology, i.e. aluminum composite panels. A system of internal roads with parking lots was built around the tower.

On October 20, 2019, the official inauguration of the air traffic control tower at the airport in Mierzęcice Pyrzowice took place.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman