November 15, 2013 // Facility Spotlight: Pompano Beach Federal Contract Tower
Located in Broward County, Fla., along the Atlantic coast just north of Fort Lauderdale, is Pompano Beach. This city is home to Pompano Beach Federal Contract Tower (PMP), a 100 percent NATCA facility.
Five controllers work at PMP, guiding aircraft flying through their Class D airspace from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. EST.
From the 63-foot tall, 42-year-old tower, PMP members guide mostly Cessnas, but also Pipers, experimental aircraft, Falcon jets, Learjets, Challengers, Citations, and sometimes even blimps!
Fort Lauderdale Executive (FXE) borders PMP’s Class D airspace to the south, and Boca Raton (BCT) borders to the north. PMP’s airspace also underlies Miami Tower/TRACON’s Class B airspace.
PMP is the only tower in the world that works two Goodyear blimps (N2A and N3A), which are based out of the Pompano Beach Airpark. The facility also boasts three flight schools, which makes up 90 percent of PMP’s air traffic, according to new PMP NATCA Facility Representative Bradley Burtner. He says there are also several charters based at PMP.
PMP members stay true to Pompano Beach’s motto, “Florida’s Warmest Welcome,” when they greet aircraft flying in and out of their airspace, including those coming for the occasional airshows and fly-ins, such as the American Flyers Flight School’s monthly fly-in.
NATCA members were able to get a close look at a Goodyear blimp as it flew overhead.
Though it’s a small tower with a small membership, PMP is 100 percent union because it fought for the right to be that way.
“We petitioned the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) to vote to join NATCA,” says Burtner. “The election results were unanimous and we have been 100 percent NATCA membership at PMP since day one of being eligible.”