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June 19, 2014 // Facility Spotlight: Louisville Standiford ATCT (SDF)

Forty-six NATCA members work at SDF in Louisville, Ky., a level 8 up/down facility that was commissioned in October of 1998. The controllers work the airspace within 50 nautical miles from the airport and an altitude up to 10,000 feet.

SDF works closely with Bowman Tower (LOU). Fort Knox is located about 25 miles away from the tower, so SDF controllers also work closely with DOD controllers at Godman army airfield.

Louisville is the main hub for UPS, which brings significant air traffic for SDF. UPS has a fleet of heavy aircraft and a few 757s. During the 11-person mid, over 100 UPS aircraft arrive between 11 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. and leave between 3:30 and 5:30 a.m. SDF also works a mix of corporate, GA, and air carrier traffic.

New equipment is regularly tested at SDF, as well as the new Wake Turbulence RECAT rules allowing reduced separation between certain aircraft.

Special events often bring heavy air traffic to Louisville. Thunder Over Louisville takes place during the Kentucky Derby, and includes a military airshow, fireworks display, and 300 corporate jets with 1,000 or more IFR ops each day for the four days. SDF is also predicting increased traffic this August while Louisville hosts the PGA Championship.

“The atmosphere in our facility is a team effort to provide the best service we can to our customers. We all strive to help each other and look out for one another. I am proud to be a part of this team and the work we do,” SDF Facility Representative Mark D. Varady says. “The best part of being the FacRep here is helping my fellow Union members with any issues that arise and always looking out for their best interests.”