Tallahassee International Airport replaces landing equipment ahead of schedule

By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 23, 2020

The FAA drove the new equipment from Oklahoma City through the night, then installed and tested the new localizer more than a week ahead of schedule.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — A damaged piece of landing equipment at Tallahassee International Airport is back up and running sooner than expected.

The airport's localizer was damaged last Monday, when a man drove a stolen FedEx truck onto the runway and ran it into the equipment.

Now the airport says the new equipment has been installed and tested.

The localizer isn't something most passengers traveling through TLH would have noticed, unless they were flying in bad weather.

It's used for landing in low-visibility situations.

Director of Aviation David Pollard says he's pleased about the partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA drove the new equipment from Oklahoma City through the night, then installed and tested the new localizer more than a week ahead of schedule.

Pollard says a handful of flights were affected while the equipment was down.

"We can't say for sure, we previously talked about approximately 20," Pollard said. "The latest numbers indicate about 17 flights were impacted, so I'm working to finalize the actual impact, but it turns out it
was actually less than what we originally thought."

The equipment was originally scheduled to be back in operation by the end of the month, but FAA crews completed the installation after working 12-hour days through the weekend and the holiday.

Pollard says how that person got onto the tarmac is still under investigation. He says it's likely the airport won't release that information due to security reasons.

"We don't divulge our specific security systems, methods, or procedures," he says. "So it's something we'll look at internally, work with our various partners, and see how or if there's something that we can do better."

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