By Airman 1st Class Alexis Christian | Peterson-Schriever Garrison
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron recently assisted the Colorado Springs Airport air traffic control tower with evacuating their building due to a positive COVID-19 case.
On the evening of Oct. 9, 2020, 21st LRS was notified Colorado Springs ATCT personnel needed to quickly move to their alternate location on base.
The ATCT provides tower, radar and air traffic control for the Colorado Springs Airport and surrounding military facilities.
“Our job is to provide safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the National Airspace System,” said Kurt Jennings, COS Airport air traffic manager. “The full evacuation of our facility affects the airport and Peterson Air Force Base greatly.”
Without a functioning ATCT, military and commercial aircraft would not be able to land or depart from the COS airport, said Master Sgt. Lilanae Martin, 21st LRS deputy airfield manager.
“Flight missions from Peterson Air Force Base would be suspended,” she added. “Distinguished visitor flights and cargo movement would be delayed or cancelled.”
The airfield operations flight maintains the alternate location for the ATCT. “This alternate tower [keeps] half of our operations running,” said Jennings. “We were able to maintain our tower operations and control aircraft landing and departing COS , thus not having to shut down operations at the airport or Peterson Air Force Base.”
ATCT personnel remained in their alternate location through the night until they were cleared to return to their primary location the next morning.
“Peterson Air Force Base allowing us to utilize this space in an emergency situation is a tremendous help to us [and] air traffic services for the Colorado Springs area,” said Jennings.