Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport - FAA Tower

3548 E Sky Harbor Blvd. Phoenix, Arizona
19 Storeys
General Contractor: Jacobs Construction Services
Pro-Bel services provided: Design, Engineer, Manufacture, Supply and Install, Load Testing

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, located in the city of Phoenix, is a joint civil-military public airport and one of the largest aviation facilities in the American Southwest. The Airport’s Air Traffic Control Tower began operations in early 2007 and is currently the world’s fifth tallest control tower standing 326 feet high (99 m) after Atlanta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Munich.

The window cleaning and exterior building maintenance requirement on this unusual structure inspired Pro-Bel’s creative team and, thanks to years of accumulated knowledge and professional know-how, it all came together nicely.

Pro-Bel Technical Approach

The tower required four different methods for performing maintenance.

At the air traffic control tower level known as the “command center” Pro-Bel engineered a truly unique rolling davit system utilizing tubular guardrail mounted tracks. Workers are able to manually move the platform davits to any position around the circumference of the tower to clean the windows below. And using the same masts from the davit arms, a raised platform can be mounted on the masts in convertible fashion for cleaning the sloped windows above the command center floor. The guardrail is structurally designed to take the loads of the entire rolling assembly.

At the base of the command center pod, on the lower floor, long vertical rigging sleeve anchors have been installed through the concrete floor and soffit. A ground rigged platform is suspended from the sleeve anchors. Suspension lines and lifelines are secured to different anchors and routed through the pipe sleeves to pick up the platform from the ground. This system is largely employed for the tower concrete wall maintenance (inspection of tower wall surfaces, caulking, cleaning, and similar activities).

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