CINNAMINSON — It’s an air traffic control tower — made of shipping containers.
SEA BOX unveiled its latest creation to a number of officials and dignitaries at the company’s headquarters on Union Mill Road on Tuesday.
“Every time I come here, there’s something new,” U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-3rd of Toms River, said after a tour of the Deployable Air Traffic Control Facility, which is nearly ready to be shipped to California.
The five-story tower, composed of 16 containers and fitted to Federal Aviation Administration standards, will serve as a stand-in for existing facilities undergoing renovations.
SEA BOX President Jim Brennan Jr. envisions the towers being an effective tool used at airports across the country and beyond.
“This one is going to Van Nuys, California,” Brennan said.
The company joined forces with Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California, which won a contract to refurbish existing towers, to find a temporary solution to be put in place as the work is being completed.
“Jacobs selected SEA BOX, exclusively, to design and develop this innovative, mobile, cost- and time-saving facility for airport projects,” Brennan said. “They determined that SEA BOX had the capacity to execute this contract that is pivotal to the nation’s plan to upgrade airports and reconstruct air traffic control towers across the country.”
But it’s not an easy mission, even for Sea Box, a leading supplier of new and used shipping containers designed for a broad range of commercial and military uses and applications.
“It has to follow every building code in the United States, so it’s good for earthquakes in California to hurricanes in Miami,” Brennan said.
After a trip to the top of the tower, MacArthur was impressed and happy to see another successful product by the manufacturer.
“I’m delighted to see a business in this part of New Jersey doing so well and providing a critical part of our (airport) infrastructure,” he said.
SEA BOX specializes in the design, custom modification and manufacturing of shipping containers for personnel and equipment shelters, temporary modular housing and related uses for both the military and commercial contracts. It employs more than 200 employees in Burlington and Somerset counties and maintains offices worldwide.
Mayor John McCarthy said he couldn’t wait to get a peek inside the tower after watching its construction.
“Impressive,” he said afterward. “It’s very nice. It’s amazing the work they do, and it’s local guys doing the work.”
Officials weren’t the only ones impressed. The American Institute of Architects’ Northern Virginia chapter recently recognized the modular tower with the Jurors’ Citation in Institutional Architecture Award.
“What’s funny is that all the other award-winners had where they were located, and the modular tower was listed as ‘anywhere,’ ” Brennan said with a laugh.