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Since beginning passenger transportation services in 1989, Stewart International Airport has received federal and state funding for numerous upgrades and improvements including funding under the FAA’s Military Airport Program (MAP) that supports capital improvements to help convert former military airports for civilian use. Stewart’s latest airport improvement project, the rehabilitation of their Weather Instrument Power Circuit (WIP), also received FAA funding.
Stewart International Airport is situated on 2,400 acres, just 60 miles north of New York City. The airport operates two runways, one measuring 11,817 feet in length, the other 6,004 feet.
Stewart began as a West Point cadet training airfield in 1939 before becoming Stewart Air Force Base in 1948. Deactivated from military service in 1970, it wasn’t until 1989 that commercial airlines were beginning to provide regular passenger service to and from Stewart. In 2007, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey purchased the facility committing to a ten-year, $500 million capital improvement expansion program. In addition to Stewart International, The Port Authority also manages operations at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International Airports.
Under a $2 million subcontract from the FAA, O’Connell Electric was hired to install a high voltage Weather Instrument Power Circuit (WIP), along with communications cabling, that encircled both airport runways and fed eleven FAA NAVAIDs sites.
Our high voltage work involved Nitrogen purging of existing cable which had been installed incorrectly by another contractor. Once moisture had been removed from each section of cable, O’Connell’s Technical Services Division conducted TEGG testing to determine whether the cable was compromised. All told, we replaced 15,000 feet of defective high voltage cable and performed all terminations. We installed the step down transformers and high voltage switches for the project which included excavation and related concrete work for the foundations. Our electricians also pulled 32,000 feet of communications cable while providing all necessary splicing and terminations.
In the process of purging, testing, and pulling the HV and communications cable, O’Connell technicians utilized manhole retrieval systems, fresh air ventilators, and clean air sensors to access 198 eight-foot-deep manholes. As a Top 50 national electrical contractor, O’Connell possessed the skills, tools, and equipment necessary to successfully deliver on every aspect of the Stewart International Airport WIP circuit rehabilitation project. Despite numerous obstacles, O’Connell met all project requirements and maintained a clean safety record.