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News Story
Updated: 02/22/2014 08:00:01AM

Refurbished air traffic control structure ‘towers’ above

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PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


While Dave Moore (lef) is in contact with Polk County Fire Rescue inquiring whether a fire to the south of the airport is a control burn, Kevin Ford is keeping a watch on another fire to the northeast of Bartow Municipal Airport. It is part of the diverse responsibilities the two air controllers handle.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Kevin Ford unfolds a map pilots use to assist them in locating airports. Included on the maps are information such as which airports have control towers, such as Bartow, and those that don't, such as Lake Wales. Other information includes radio frequencies pilots need to use.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


Rising 75' from the ground is the control tower at Bartow Municipal Airport. The structure recently underwent a long overdue major overhaul and refurbishing.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER


In addition to guiding aircraft, control tower operators at Bartow Municipal Airport keep a watch on the surrounding area, such as the brush fire spotted south of the airport.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER



Rising 75' from the ground is the control tower at Bartow Municipal Airport. The structure recently underwent a long overdue major overhaul and refurbishing.

PHOTO BY STEVE STEINER



Rising 75' from the ground is the control tower at Bartow Municipal Airport. The structure recently underwent a long overdue major overhaul and refurbishing.

By STEVE STEINER

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“I’m the best control tower operator here,” boasted Kevin Ford, to which Dave Moore derisively snorted, and that led to further claims who indeed was the better of the two.

Yet to hear Moore and Ford banter, making fun of one another, all in warmth and good humor, one would tend to believe the two are lifelong friends, not two who have only known each other since Jan. 1, when Ford become the second air traffic control specialist at Bartow Municipal Airport. And although Ford is the junior member, Moore has only been the senior control tower operator since April 2013.

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