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April 22, 2015 // Facility Spotlight: Tulsa Riverside Tower (RVS)

Tulsa Riverside Tower (RVS) boasts an impressive NATCA membership. Thirteen out of its 14 controllers are Union members. It is a level 7 tower with radar and was commissioned March 15, 1965. RVS is responsible for a 4.1 mile ring of Class D airspace, with a Class C overlay from TUL. RVS works closely with Tulsa International and Kansas City Center.

Controllers at RVS work nearly every type of general aviation aircraft, which keeps life interesting at the tower.

“Everything from Piper Super Cubs, to Gulfstream 5s. We also work with historical aircraft on a regular basis, such as P-51s and T-6 Texans,” said RVS FacRep Clayton Crafton. “The various types of aircraft that we work with and their different operating characteristics can be a challenge. We also deal with several flight schools based at Riverside, where the majority of the students are foreign. The fact that we only have Instrument Approaches to one runway increases our complexity with opposite direction operations on a regular basis.”

In addition to their unique traffic, RVS members work several special events throughout the year. “During major military holidays, we have multiple historical aircraft that participate in events in and around the airport,” explains Crafton.

Due to its small size, solidarity events are difficult to host at RVS but the feeling of solidarity is still present.

“The NATCA local atmosphere is a very strong, united, front,” Crafton says. “We support each other as much as possible, and have each other’s backs through the good and the bad. As the FacRep, I enjoy helping my members solve problems, as well as getting involved in projects both in and out of the facility. I also enjoy working, with the help of my fellow NATCA members, on making the working environment a better place by speaking to the local flight schools and airport operators, helping each other make Riverside a safer place to fly.”