May 10, 2013 // Facility Spotlight: Youngstown Tower/TRACON
Located in Ohio’s ninth-largest city, with a population of over 66,900, Youngstown Tower/TRACON (YNG) is a 60-foot-tall tower and home to 16 Certified Professional Controllers (CPCs) and 10 developmentals. The operational positions within the facility are Radar East, Arrival Data, TRACON Controller in Charge (CIC), Cab CIC, Ground Control, Local Control, Flight Data, and Clearance Delivery.
The facility’s NATCA membership is just under 100 percent, with only two non-members.
The TRACON’s hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (ET), and the tower is open 24 hours per day.
The tower’s airspace coverage extends 4.4 nautical miles in radius, up to 8,000 feet in its west portion, and up to 10,000 feet in its east portion.
YNG approach airspace is a Terminal Radar Service Area (TRSA), extending from the airport 24 nautical miles north, 51 nautical miles east, 17 nautical miles west, and 20 nautical miles south.
YNG controllers work with those at Akron Approach, Cleveland Approach, Erie Approach, Pittsburgh Approach, and Cleveland Center (ZOB). The controllers direct a variety of general aviation aircraft found at airports across the country and they have an elevated amount of military traffic including C130s, C27s, and KC135s.
YNG NATCA Facility Representative Dave Riefer says a unique aspect for controllers is that the airport has a 2,500-foot long assault landing strip, owned by the Air Force. The landing strip is heavily used by the C130s and C27s to simulate battlefield conditions, and controllers also conduct night vision operations for the military, which can make the tower’s airspace become complex.
Riefer says YNG has a great family atmosphere and that being the FacRep has been a pleasure.
“When things need to be done we band together and become the solution instead of the problem,” he says. “We take care of our own and that helps make my job easier.”
Youngstown, named after an early settler, John Young, lies 10 miles west of the Pennsylvania state line, midway between New York City and Chicago via Interstate 80. The area offers many activities, including golfing, hunting, fishing, and camping, as well as numerous professional sports teams to follow in nearby Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Youngstown is also known for its dedication to the arts. The Butler Institute of American Art is one of the nation’s most unique museums, located near Youngstown State University.