Rising above the trees, the new nine-storey air traffic control tower at 14 Wing Greenwood casts a golden glow at sunset, as if to highlight the tower's status as the most modern in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Since Greenwood is the largest East Coast air base, as well as a Forward Operating base for the CF-18s out of CFB Bagotville, replacing the existing 1950s-era tower was an important priority, says DCC's Greenwood Site Manager Paul Lincoln.

The top-floor room where the air traffic controllers work is rimmed by large windows to ensure maximum visibility. An innovative column design further ensures staff have an unobstructed view of most of the airfield and its two runways. Elsewhere in the 2,500-m2 tower are spaces for training and simulators.

The new nine-storey air traffic control tower at 14 Wing Greenwood.
The new nine-storey air traffic control tower at 14 Wing Greenwood.

In another mark of modernity, the washrooms and locker area are gender-neutral. Barrier-free design, high-efficiency windows, a sensor-based lighting system and smart water management are expected to earn the facility the LEED Silver certification.

The $14-million tower will also be able to withstand an earthquake, despite 14 Wing's sandy soils. The structure sits on a large slab of concrete nearly 2-m thick. The slab, in turn, is propped up by dozens of gravel-filled pipes to help resist seismic forces, Lincoln explains.

The DCC team of Cyril Hiltz (now retired), Matthew Smith, Robert Estey, Jeff Kempton and Gary Chiasson brought their many decades of experience to the complex project. "Whenever we were faced with challenges, DCC demonstrated the leadership the Client-Partner has come to know," Lincoln says.

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