The new 100-foot-tall air traffic control tower will be funded by the FAA,

Indiana Department of Transportation and the City of Columbus,

and supported by Cummins Inc.

Columbus, IN — The Columbus Municipal Airport has announced that it has selected Marlon Blackwell Architects (MBA), based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to design a new 100-foot-tall air traffic control tower, in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and Woolpert, an aviation focused engineering firm. The project will be supported by a grant from the Cummins Foundation Architecture Program.

“Over the past three months a guiding team of community members has been evaluating an outstanding group of architecture firms from across the country for this project,” said Brian Payne, Columbus Municipal Airport Director. “We had an incredibly high caliber of architects competing for this project, but, in the end, the team selected Marlon Blackwell Architects for its vision, ingenuity, and overall passion for the Columbus community.”

The finalists for this project were Snow Kreilich (Minneapolis, Minnesota), SO – IL Architects (Brooklyn, New York) and Howeler + Yoon (Boston, Massachusetts).

“We are so honored to have been selected to contribute to the architectural legacy of Columbus,” said Marlon Blackwell.  “More than a piece of infrastructure, our hope is that the new Columbus Municipal Airport Air Traffic Control Tower will become a beacon of Columbus’s architectural and design heritage, that will mark a key gateway into the city.”

The new tower will replace the airport’s existing 80-year-old tower and will be upgraded to align with current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower standards, including sighting, backup cooling and power, security, fire and life safety, and FAA equipment. It is expected to be an $11.5-million project. Construction is expected to begin in April 2025 after a year-long design process.

MBA is teamed with the multi-disciplinary Woolpert team, whose expertise in aviation will be critical to realizing the new air traffic control tower. The firm’s long-time collaborators, Guy Nordenson and Associates, will support the structural design and contribute to the unique identity of the project.  Additionally, Thornton Tomasetti (façade design) and Threshold Acoustics (acoustic consulting) will work closely with the design team to develop critical details, ensuring a comprehensive design approach for the new tower at Columbus Municipal Airport.

Investing in a vibrant and economically viable headquarters community in Columbus has long been an important objective for Cummins. This vision started with Cummins’ former Chairman and CEO, J. Irwin Miller, who had a lifelong interest in architecture and understood that Cummins’ success in retaining the best and brightest employees was closely tied to the company’s ability to attract this talent to Columbus.

“Cummins is thrilled to welcome the addition of Marlon Blackwell Architects into Columbus’ design heritage,” said Jim Schacht, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for Cummins Inc. and CEO of the Cummins Foundation. “As a woman- and minority-owned business, MBA brings a sought-after level of excellence to its collaborative design process, which will ensure this tower reflects the high standards of the community.”

For more information on Columbus Municipal Airport, click here.