Thursday, September 12, 2013

Easing traffic congestion: New model plane air traffic control tower in Valley Forge Park a welcome sight

Valley Forge, PA--A $2.5 million model plane air traffic control tower--the country's first--made its debut over the weekend helping to better manage the crowded air space over the rolling green hills of Valley Forge National Historical Park. The tower has been in the works for several years now, as model plane traffic has grown rapidly in the vicinity. In 2012, Valley forge had over twenty million takeoffs and landings, up nearly eleven percent from the previous year. "On busy days, before the tower, my plane would be waiting on the grass tarmac for, like, an hour and a half before I was finally airborne," said Dave Hinksey, a radio-controlled plane enthusiast from Paoli, PA. "Now, with the tower, on busy days I'm only waiting about twenty-five minutes, sometimes only ten minutes." The new tower is indeed state-of-the-art with multiple computer screens, headphones, two-way radios, radar, email, and a snack machine--all powered with solar energy. Accessed by an exterior ladder, the control deck sits two traffic directors comfortably and can accommodate a third with a foldout seat for extremely crowded runway days. Members of the local Muhlenberg Model Plane Brigade will rotate manning the tower on weekends and busy weekdays. "The tower is just so great," said Ben Thomas-Elverson, a wide-grinned ribbon-cutter on opening day who was instrumental in bringing the tower to the park. "We now have the capabilities to conduct in-flight refueling." 

No comments: