On Friday June 2nd, 2017, federal, state and local officials will gather at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC). NOAA’s fleet of nine “specialized environmental data-gathering aircraft” will be housed in the 58,000 square foot hangar that will serve as the main base for the fleet and personnel. Additionally, 34,000 square feet of the 106,000 square foot facility is dedicated to offices and laboratories. The collection of planes includes two Lockheed WP-3D Orion named “Kermit” and “Miss Piggy”, as well as a Gulfstream IV-SP jet called “Gonzo” and six environmental monitoring planes.
It was announced in February that NOAA’s Aircraft Operations Center was leaving MacDill Airforce Base in Tampa, Florida and in November the City of Lakeland was awarded a 10-year lease to house the AOC. The Lunz Group was awarded the design contract in September and construction was started by Register Construction on December 5th, 2016.
The transition from Tampa to Lakeland will be complete in July, but the NOAA team, including the “hurricane hunters”, has been steadily moving into the space since the end of May so they can be prepared for hurricane season.
This event is free to attend and is open to the public. Gates open at 9:30 am and parking information can be found on the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport website. The ribbon cutting will take place promptly at 10:30 am.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our other social media channels.
About The Lunz Group
The Lunz Group is a client-oriented, award-winning architectural firm with offices in Lakeland, Dunedin and Celebration, Florida. For the past 30 years, The Lunz Group has provided professional services including architectural design, interior design, master planning, programming and visualization with completed work in over 28 states and the District of Columbia.