City of

Federal Legislative Agenda 2017

Transportation

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Modernization of the Laredo International Airport

It is of paramount importance to the City of Laredo and region to complete the modernization of the Laredo International Airport, an airport of national and international significance. Failure to modernize will create a choke point to regional economic expansion.

 

Trade, commerce and employment opportunities will be negatively impacted, not only in Laredo, Texas but also at U.S. communities whose exports and imports depend on the Laredo International Airport. Air cargo, primarily auto parts processed at LRD touches 39 industrial communities.

LRD Highlights:

 

     •  Air Traffic Operations have increased an average of 108% during past five (5) years.

     •  LRD is the only airport in the U.S. with an operation of Mexican Customs to pre-inspect south bound air cargo.

     •  Industries participating under Mexican Customs pre-inspection include auto parts, automotive manufacturing,
         electronics/electrical and aerospace.

     •  The number 1 air cargo commodity at LRD is auto parts. Mexico is expanding its auto industry thus LRD can expect to
         grow its air cargo.

     •  LRD is the only primary commercial service airport in the U.S. with CBP availability 24/7 to include clearance of air cargo.

     •  The new LRD FIS houses two nations’ Customs under one roof. The Federal Inspection Services Facility (FIS) was an RSAT
         project funded by the City of Laredo.

Pending modernization projects include, but not limited, to the following:


     1. Replace V-Ring Localizer Antenna and Mark 1F Transmitter

 

Situation Assessment

A Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS) services Runway 17R/35L instrument approach procedures. It is the only ILS for LRD and is equipped with a vintage 1960’s V-Ring Localizer Antenna that provides a back course procedure to Runway 35L. Recently, an unfortunate vehicular incident crashed the V-Ring Localizer Antenna and FAA replaced most Localizer components except for the antennas. The same antennas were re-installed.

 

Background

This type of localizer antenna is very old, requires more maintenance, and FAA is losing the ability to find replacement parts. We are also very concerned that the FAA will not be able to provide replacement parts leading to a possible loss of LRD’s only land based precision instrument approach.

 

Solution

The City of Laredo requests that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) replace the V-Ring Antenna with a modern Log Periodic with the ability to provide a back course approach.  Also, we request that the Mark 1F transmitter be replaced with a Mark 20A transmitter. This will provide redundancy in case one transmitter goes out of service.

 

     2. Install a Log Periodic ILS at Runway 17L/35R

 

Situation Assessment

A Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS) services Runway 17R/35L instrument approach procedures. It is the only ILS for LRD and is equipped with a vintage 1960’s V-Ring Localizer Antenna that provides a back course procedure to Runway 35L.


Background

This type of localizer antenna is very old, requires more maintenance, and FAA is losing the ability to find replacement parts. We are also very concerned that the FAA will not be able to provide replacement parts leading to a possible loss of LRD’s only land based precision instrument approach.

 

Solution

The City of Laredo requests that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) install an ILS at Runway 17L/35R this will provide LRD with redundancy in case the ILS to Runway 17R/35 goes out of service.

 

     3. Construct Replacement Air Traffic Control Tower

 

Situation Assessment

The current LRD tower built in 1970 by the Department of Defense is in constant need of repairs and does not conform to current FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) specifications and is OSHA non-compliant. The (2005 and 2015) Airport Master Plan recommended a replacement tower be built to comply with current FAA specifications and to enhance airport operational safety. To maintain line of sight requirements, a replacement ATCT will be necessary as LRD extends Runway 17L.

 

Background

The Laredo Air Traffic Control Tower is property of the Federal Aviation Administration and the air traffic controllers are contract employees.

 

The City of Laredo petitions the Federal Aviation Administration to program a replacement Air Traffic Control Tower at the earliest possible time.

 

A new Air Traffic Control Tower will provide sustainability. The existing tower is in constant need of repairs.

 

     4. Increase Air Traffic Control Tower Services

 

Situation Assessment

The City of Laredo, Texas respectfully requests that the Federal Aviation Administration extend the number of hours the Contract Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) at the Laredo International Airport (LRD) to 24 hours daily.  This request is made to enhance safety, security and support

U.S. industry. The Laredo International Airport is an important cargo hub for NAFTA countries.

 

Background

Operated by RVG LRD’s Contract ATCT is currently open M-F from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight, Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday’s from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Current staffing consists of one supervisor and five (5) controllers. An additional 53 hours per week are required to enable 24/7 operations.

 

To date the City of Laredo has received 19 letters of support from industry regarding this initiative to operate LRD’s ATCT  24/7.

 

There is no doubt that operating the Laredo ATCT 24/7 will significantly enhance aviation/airport safety and security, is of national interest for U. S. industry, and that the benefits of keeping LRD’s ATCT open 24/7 by far outweighs the cost.

 

Target Agencies

The Federal Aviation Administration

 

Contact

Mario I. Maldonado, Jr. 
Airport Director

5210 Bob Bullock Loop
Laredo, TX 78043

Phone: (956) 795-2000

Fax: (956) 795-2572

 Email:  mmaldonad0@ci.laredo.tx.us