Most people hold some fascination with flying—for Walt Parkes the allure was airports. To Walt, airports represented specialty work and specialty work was his specialty. Since his purchase of O'Connell Electric in 1968, the company has kept aviation and airport work a top priority.
Early successes at Greater Rochester International Airport (GRIA) lead to work at other airports across New York for O'Connell, like Griffis Airforce Base. By the mid 80s, we had a dedicated group of people and resources focused and specializing exclusively on aviation work. Today, our Airports Division has worked at more than a third of the commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports identified on the FAA's NPIAS list for New York State—over 30.
O'Connell's work at airports encompasses all new construction, upgrades, and renovations spanning the runways and taxiways, air traffic control towers, airport terminals, and out-buildings. We have vast experience installing electric vaults, NAVAIDS, AWOS, EMAS and other specialty systems, AMA lighting and signage, and more.
Aviation is undoubtedly one of the most safety driven industries in the world, demanding absolute dedication to safety procedures and a deep sense of caution and respect at every level of work—not unlike electrical work. O'Connell is vigilant about remaining up to date on all necessary certifications and clearances with the DOT, FAA and related agencies. We remain current on all airport construction operational safety and hazard prevention protocols that cover aircraft movement areas (AMA) and airport structures. On site we hold regularly scheduled meetings with airport operations and maintenance departments as well as air traffic control to establish and communicate updates relative to job-specific working rules like schedules, routes, and staffing of critical control points.
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Turning Stone Resort & Casino, a top-five tourist destination in New York State, recently embarked on a $308 million expansion project. The project included three new structures featuring a twenty-story, 200,000 square foot, 287 room casino hotel, a 5000-seat multipurpose event center, and a 22,000 square foot Winter Garden entry way connecting the two structures.
Our long standing relationship with the Oneida Indian Nation and Turning Stone dates back to completion of the casino’s opening in 1993. For this expansion project, O’Connell Electric provided full electrical construction for the three facilities under a $9.2 million subcontract with Hunt Construction Group.
Scope of work incorporated all primary and secondary power, emergency power systems, conventional as well as specialty interior and exterior lighting, theater sound systems, telephone, data and fire alarm systems, lightning protection, and UPS system. Key materials and equipment installed included 13.2 kV primary and 480/277 secondary service, one 1000 kVA and two 2500 kVA transformers, and a 500 kW standby generator. O’Connell’s innovative approach to construction management yielded productivity enhancements at the job site and helped work crews stay ahead of construction schedules.