The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center will be expanding their facility under the terms of a new 20-year lease signed last week with the City of Lakeland.
The 50,000+ square-foot expansion includes additional hangar space to accommodate new aircraft NOAA is acquiring to assist in data gathering, hurricane tracking and coastal mapping. An existing storage space will be converted into a new, two-story office space to provide additional workspace for NOAA’s staff.
“We are extremely grateful to NOAA leadership for their continued belief in Lakeland Linder International Airport,” Aircraft Director Gene Conrad said. “Our community and airport are proud of the mission that the NOAA AOC team performs on a year round basis, and we look forward to supporting them in that mission for the next 20 years.”
The Lunz Group is teaming with Register Construction to complete the expansion of the AOC. NOAA plays a crucial role in collecting environmental data, conserving coastal resources, and understanding the weather and climate.
“With an expanded facility in Lakeland, our highly-skilled NOAA Aircraft Operations Center team and the aircraft they operate, manage and maintain will be better able to support NOAA and the nation,” NOAA Director Michael J. Silah said. “This agreement also solidifies our long-term commitment to Lakeland.”
The Lunz Group completed Phase I of the AOC at Lakeland Linder International Airport in 2017, when NOAA moved their operations from Macdill Air Force Base in Tampa to Lakeland. The facility was a mixed use project, requiring expertise in warehouse, workplace and aviation architectural design. In addition to an impressive 60-foot 58,000 SF hangar, the AOC features 34,000 SF of dedicated office and laboratory space with an additional 13,000 SF for aircraft repairs and storage. The Lunz Group worked with Register Construction on the fast-tracked project that was constructed in less than six months.