LIVERMORE — Livermore Municipal Airport welcomed its new air traffic control tower manager, Paul Griffiths, at the end of last year.
Griffiths comes to the Tri-Valley from his previous position as frontline manager at Monterey Regional Airport. He draws from over 26 years of experience working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from air traffic controller up to manager.
He said he hopes to continue to hold at Livermore “the high standards of safety that we have here, and (develop) any strategies we can to enhance everything else that's in place.” .
Although aware of resident noise concerns and apprehension over the possible KaiserAir project, Griffiths explained that those complaints are typically beyond the purview of the tower and are redirected to the airport itself.
He said that while the airport is owned by the City of Livermore, the control tower is a federal entity operated by the FAA. The tower, therefore, is somewhat insulated from resident complaints in order to focus on its mission of “the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic.”
The Livermore Airport Commission, however, does receive and compile noise complaints; it works with the surrounding cities to discuss those issues.
KaiserAir is an aviation charter firm based at Oakland International Airport that has submitted a letter of intent to develop land at Livermore Airport. The airport granted KaiserAir a second extension last summer to apply for development.
The firm operates several jets, including three Boeing 737s, that it plans to fly to Livermore for maintenance. According to Livermore Airport FAQs, however, “KaiserAir will use the Livermore airport for maintenance and reconfiguration purposes of their aircraft only” and will not introduce traditional airline passenger service.
KaiserAir has until July to file the formal application for the project.
In the tower, after about two months on the job, Griffiths was quick to compliment the professionalism of the tower staff.
“We don't peddle money products; we peddle safety,” Griffith said. “And they do a very good job of that here. The controllers here are extremely experienced. This is a very good group of controllers. I'd like (it) to be known that the local flying public is in very good hands.”