Archer Western construction company is now putting the finishing touches on Piedmont Triad International Airport’s165-foot-tall air traffic control tower along with a roughly 16,000-square-foot base building – a one-story Terminal Radar Approach Control (aka TRACON) building – that will house administration offices and air traffic controllers.

PTIA has released a progress report on the project that states it is “97.5 percent complete.”

Still, even though the structure is almost done, many more electronics will have to be installed and it will likely be 2022 before the tower is operational.

According to that report, “Overall, the TRACON building is nearly complete and work being done is largely centered around testing and touch up.”

The groundbreaking for the major project took place in June of 2019.

As with most everything involving airports, new facilities like this don’t come cheap. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is shelling out over $60 million for the tower and base building.

The late Steve Showfety, the former Koury Corp. president and former chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, said in 2019 that this was something PTIA greatly needed. He pointed out that the existing air traffic control tower went into service nearly 50 years ago. Showfety said at that time that the new tower will “give us the modern infrastructure we need to live up to the vision of our master plan and will allow the Piedmont Triad International Airport to continue to add new passenger service, serve our current tenants and also add new tenants who will bring investment and jobs to the community.”

No one at that 2019 ground-breaking could have foreseen that a world-wide pandemic would virtually shut down airports across the world for much of 2020. Passenger traffic at PTIA, however, is finally coming back, and airport officials say the new tower capabilities will be a great benefit when it finally becomes operational.

Now in the final phase of the construction project, “Static flooring installation in the top of the tower is complete, ceiling tile placement is nearly complete, stair wells are being repainted, and stair treads are being prepped and painted in the shaft. [Archer Western] is pushing to complete tasks in the tower shaft so that [workers] can proceed with the finishing of the concrete stair landings.”

The site work is also finishing up. When the weather warms up a little, grass sod will be installed along the entrances and irrigation and any remaining fencing issues will be worked out.