Construction contractors at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport worked in recent weeks to replace twelve large windows in the Airport’s air traffic control tower. The existing tower windows were almost 30 years old, exceeding their expected lifespan.
Air traffic control tower windows must meet stringent specifications related to strength, transparency, wind resistance, and glare reduction. Each of the new windows weighs approximately 850 pounds. The windows are about 106 inches wide at the top, 98 inches wide at the bottom, and 99 inches high. The windows consist of two half-inch panes of float glass separated by a half-inch air space, for a total thickness of 1.5 inches.
“Visibility is very important for our Federal Aviation Administration colleagues,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “FAA tower personnel must have unobstructed vision of the airfield and local airspace. These new windows will provide a clear view of the Airport for many years to come.”
The BWI Marshall air traffic control tower is approximately 100 feet high. A large mobile crane was used to lift the new windows to a scaffolding system that was installed around the tower. The height and design of the scaffold were carefully planned to ensure full visibility for the air traffic controllers in the tower.
The window replacement project took place in the early morning hours, from midnight until 6:00 a.m. For most nights, the work was completed around 2:00 a.m. Installation of the first window occurred on September 23. The final window was installed on Friday, October 5.
The contractor for the BWI Marshall tower glass replacement project was Baltimore Contractors, Inc. The glass installation subcontractor was Quality Walls and Windows. The design firm for the project was Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
Note: photographs of the glass replacement project are available. Please contact Jonathan Dean at 410-859-7027 or JDean@BWIairport.com  for photos.