The National Center for Atmospheric Research research aviation center at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport is home to Gulfstream V and C-130 research aircraft. Lucas High/BizWest

NCAR starts building new research flight facility at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport

BROOMFIELD — Local luminaries in the science, government and higher-education fields gathered Friday in Broomfield to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new National Center for Atmospheric Research facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport designed to support NCAR’s aviation missions. 

The $22 million, 42,000-square-foot facility will replace NCAR’s roughly 50-year-old existing flight center, which is about half that size and houses Gulfstream V and C-130 research aircraft. It is a partnership among NCAR, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the National Science Foundation.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research research aviation center at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport is home to Gulfstream V and C-130 research aircraft. Lucas High/BizWest

“Our nation’s research enterprises will be further enabled by this new facility, and I’m really excited about the future prospects of all the aircraft observation studies that are going [to help scientists] generate a better understanding of how the planet that we live on works,” UCAR president Anthony Busalacchi said.

Specifically, NCAR director Everette Joseph said, the Broomfield facility, will provide “specialized labs for the development and calibration of scientific airborne sensors as well rooms designed for flight briefings, long-distance decision-making and real-time remote participation in field projects.”

Upcoming projects include a study of ice particles in clouds over Colorado and the characteristics of summer monsoons in Asia.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time,” NSF division director Anjuli Bamzai, quoting poet T.S. Eliot.

The facility is expected to take about a year to build. Milender White Construction Co. is the general contractor.

“There’s a lot of work and a lot of heavy lifting we’re going to be doing between now and the ribbon cutting,” UCAR senior vice president and chief operating officer Lory Wingate said.

BROOMFIELD — Local luminaries in the science, government and higher-education fields gathered Friday in Broomfield to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new National Center for Atmospheric Research facility at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport designed to support NCAR’s aviation missions. 

The $22 million, 42,000-square-foot facility will replace NCAR’s roughly 50-year-old existing flight center, which is about half that size and houses Gulfstream V and C-130 research aircraft. It is a partnership among NCAR, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the National Science Foundation.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research research aviation center at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport is home to Gulfstream V and C-130 research aircraft. Lucas High/BizWest

“Our nation’s research enterprises will be further enabled by this new facility, and I’m really excited about the future prospects of all the aircraft observation studies that are going [to help scientists] generate a better understanding of how the planet that we live on works,” UCAR president Anthony Busalacchi said.

Specifically, NCAR director Everette Joseph said, the Broomfield facility, will provide “specialized labs for the development and calibration of scientific airborne sensors as well rooms designed for flight briefings, long-distance decision-making and real-time remote participation in field projects.”

Upcoming projects include a study of ice particles in clouds over Colorado and the characteristics of summer monsoons in Asia.

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to…