January 24, 2014 // Facility Spotlight: Omaha ATCT
There are 18 NATCA members who work at the Omaha (OMA) ATCT. The tower was commissioned in 1975 and stands 80 feet tall. Operating 24 hours, OMA has an airspace of five miles in diameter. The controllers work many types of aircraft, from an A172 to an A306. The facility works closely with Omaha TRACON (R90).
Snow, rain, fog, and heavy winds are only a few weather conditions that make for a unique experience working at the OMA tower.
Flooding is always a possibility at the airport. The airport is surrounded by water on all sides – three sides by the Missouri River and one by Carter Lake.
In June 2011, the Missouri River flooded, threatening the airport’s safety and forcing the airport to sandbag the area as a precaution. Fortunately, the runways, taxiways, and ramps remained dry.
The College World Series has been held in Omaha every year since 1950, bringing in heavy traffic during the first few weeks of June.
Nothing compares to the first weekend in May, however. A crowd of approximately 40,000 comes into town for the Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting hosted by Warren Buffett.
During these events, traffic count can increase 3-5 times compared to a normal day.
OMA NATCA member Scott Williams has taken the lead on getting the Omaha Local involved in community service events in recent years.
A charity golf event was held last summer to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
For the past two years, the members “adopted” families during the holiday season and provided gifts for children and a nice holiday meal.
Also, OMA NATCA members organized a softball team that played throughout most of this past summer.
OMA NATCA Facility Representative Mike Erlbacher and OMA NATCA Vice President Adam Roschke say the atmosphere at the OMA tower is great. The members enjoy spending time with each other in and outside the workplace. They support each other and put forth their best efforts to support their community.