Business View Magazine | September 2019

99 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2019 40-50,000 operations a year, ranging from small, single engine aircraft to large corporate jets. “We have three active runways on this airfield, which is rare for a general aviation airport. Our primary runway is 5,000 feet long and 150 feet wide,” says Executive Director, John Helms. “We have an operating control tower on the field that’s completely privatized. We have fully-licensed and certified air traffic controllers, but they are our employees – they work for the Airport Authority. And we’re probably operating one of the oldest, still active, control towers in the country, dating back to the war era.” “We have 27 employees as part of the Airport Authority, and to this day, we continue that long tradition as a primary pilot training facility,” Helms adds. “We’re a pretty unique operation. We’re one of those medium-level, general aviation airports with an equally large industrial park, so it’s a very dynamic operation. It’s different than the majority of general aviation airports and even some commercial services airports.” Airside businesses at the Airport include three maintenance facilities, an aircraft painting facility, two medivac helicopter companies, the Polk County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit, mosquito control, and the Bartow Flying Service (operated by the Airport Authority) which provides line service, fuel, and flight training. “In the industrial park, we have over 60 buildings that we own and operate and lease out to multiple businesses,” Helms reports. “The industries vary from steel manufacturing to car customization; we have a plastic recycling center and county government facilities. And we’re a true multi-modal hub in the area. We have a trucking facility and we have multiple rail spurs.” Recently, the Airport obtained funding for an intermodal rail center for the transloading of freight at the industrial park. It will include a community rail dock and truck loading facility, as well as additional rail lines. “That’s kind of our big project for next year,” says Helms. “It will improve the intermodal function of the industrial park, tying highway, rail, and aviation all together. The funding is lined up and we’re working with the railroad to get that project going.” THE BARTOW EXECUT I VE A I RPORT A recently completed project at Bartow was the implementation of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, system - a technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. The information can be received by air traffic control ground stations as a replacement for secondary surveillance radar, as no interrogation signal is needed from the ground. It can also be received by