Two New ATC Towers openedone green & one tallNO MENTION OF NEXTGEN pluses

NextGen ATC Benefits Not Listed
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NextGen ATC Benefits Not Listed in FAA Press Releases

New ATC Towers in San Francisco & Las Vegas


New San Francisco ATC Tower

NextGen ATC Benefits Not Listed

New Las Vegas ATC Tower

NextGen ATC Benefits Not Listed

NextGen ATC Benefits Not Listed


Read for yourself. Each press release is replete with information about greenness, interesting design features, better worker amenities and the 2nd tallest US tower. Both are intended to be around for many years, BUT NO MENTION of how they will integrate into NextGen. VERY ODD?  


Press Release – Federal Aviation Administration, San Francisco International Airport Dedicate New Airport Traffic Control Tower

For Immediate Release

October 11, 2016
Contact: Ian Gregor

SAN FRANCISCO – FAA Administrator Michael Huerta joined local officials today in dedicating the new, environmentally friendly airport traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Rising up in a graceful flare, the new tower is 221 feet tall.  The 650 square-foot controller work area gives air traffic controllers unobstructed 235-degree views of SFO’s runways and taxiways.

Under a unique partnership, the FAA and SFO shared the cost of the project.  The FAA paid for the costs associated with building the tower itself.  SFO paid for the costs associated with integrating the tower into the existing airport complex, as well as the facility’s striking design features.  SFO also supervised the design and construction work.

“This project created an iconic, modern tower that provides critical safety benefits for the tens of millions of people who pass through this airport each year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “In addition, it put many Bay Area residents to work in well-paying jobs – more than 2,000 workers contributed more than 500,000 labor hours to this project.”

“Completing this key infrastructure investment required a true collaboration between the FAA and SFO,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.  “The end product reflects not only our passion for safety, but also our shared belief that investment and environmental responsibility are intertwined.  This project is a shining example of our efforts to minimize our environmental footprint.”

“San Francisco is a City of Innovation, and the new airport traffic control tower at SFO reflects this spirit,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  “Seismically sound, environmentally sustainable, and iconic in design, this new facility is truly a beacon for our gateway to the world.”

“This new airport traffic control tower stands as a tribute to our partnership with the FAA,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero.  “This project represents the first-ever collaboration of its kind between an airport and the FAA to construct a new tower.  The result is a masterpiece, replete with cutting-edge safety engineering, advanced technology, and the visual dynamism to represent SFO for decades to come.  I truly appreciate the vision, dedication, and teamwork that made this exceptional facility possible.”

The new tower was necessary because the old tower did not meet current seismic standards, and retrofitting the 32 year-old building was not feasible.  The new tower is designed to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.

Located between Terminals 1 and 2, the tower features a 147 foot-tall ribbon of glass running down the middle of the structure.  The glass reflects sunlight during the day and is illuminated by interior lighting at night.

The project also includes a three-story, 44,000 square-foot base building, which houses administrative offices, computer equipment, a backup generator, and secure corridors that allow passengers to transit between terminals without affording access to the tower.

New air traffic control equipment in the controller work area includes a state-of-the-art ground radar system and touch-screen displays for weather and airfield status information.  By the end of the year, the ground radar will link to Runway Status Lights, which are similar to stop lights that tell pilots when it is unsafe to enter a runway or to take off.

A host of green environmental features earned the project LEED Gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council.  These include solar panels installed on a nearby building roof; natural daylight in offices and the public lobby; a roof garden and reflective roofing, which reduce heat gain from the roof; low-flow plumbing fixtures; recycled building materials; an electric vehicle charging station; and energy efficient mechanical and electrical equipment.

The FAA’s share of the project cost was about $82 million.  SFO’s share was about $69 million for integrating the tower into the existing airport complex, which included the materials for the building facade and the exterior LED lighting array.

Construction on the new tower began in June 2012.  The FAA will start using the facility on October 15, 2016.

SFO was the nation’s 11th busiest airport in 2015 with about 430,000 takeoffs and landings.


Press Release – Federal Aviation Administration Dedicates New Las Vegas Air Traffic Control Facility

For Immediate Release

October 18, 2016
Contact: Tammy Jones
Phone: (202) 267-3476; email:

LAS VEGAS – Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) Michael Huerta today joined federal and local officials to dedicate the new air traffic control facility at McCarran International Airport.

The project includes a 352-foot tall air traffic control tower and a 59,000 square-foot base building, which houses the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), air traffic control training simulators, administrative offices, and equipment.

“This project fulfills our core mandate of providing the traveling public with the world-class air transportation system that they expect and deserve,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “It also provided a shot in the arm to the local economy by putting Nevadans to work in well-paying construction jobs.”

“It’s critical for us to reinvest in our infrastructure to ensure that we have the safest, most efficient, and most competitive air transportation system possible,” said Huerta.  “This modernized tower and TRACON provides our controllers with vastly improved working environments that reflect the bustling airport and airspace that they serve.”

“McCarran International is one of the nation’s busiest airports, and I’m very grateful that the FAA has completed this state-of-the-art project that will serve worldwide travelers for decades to come.  Controllers now enjoy greater visibility and access to their equipment, and the expanded TRACON is capable of handling far more positions than was possible before,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation for Clark County, Nevada.  “We’re growing at McCarran, and the FAA has shown it’s committed to supporting that growth.”

A taller tower was needed to provide controllers with better airfield views, and the new tower is one of the tallest in the country.  The old tower, which the FAA started using in 1983, was about 200 feet tall.

McCarran’s air traffic also has increased dramatically since the old facility was built, creating a need for more controller space in both the tower and TRACON.  The airport served about 140,000 flights in 1983.  Last year, it handled about 525,000 flights, making it the nation’s seventh-busiest commercial airport.

The new tower’s controller work area, known as the cab, is 850 square feet – more than 50 percent larger than the old facility.

nextgen atc benefitsThe cab’s unique design consists of two levels.  Ground controllers, who handle aircraft between the
terminals and runways, are located on the lower deck, closer to the airport surface.  Local controllers, who handle arriving and departing aircraft and aircraft on the runways, sit in the raised area, which enables them to better coordinate with one another by enabling more direct communication.  Equipment is mounted on moveable arms, which allows each controller to adjust it to suit his or her needs.

The 2,100 square-foot TRACON is more than twice the size of the old one.  It can accommodate up to 20 air traffic control positions – four more than in the old building.

The tower and TRACON both have state-of-the-art information displays that integrate systems displaying traffic, weather, and radar data into one workstation.  Touch-screen technology allows controllers to move easily between the different screens.

The building features a white membrane roof to reflect heat away from the structure, paints and wood that emit low amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow water fixtures, and low-water landscaping.

The control tower handles air traffic on the airport surface and in the airspace within a five-mile mile radius of McCarran, up to an altitude of 3,000 feet.  The TRACON handles airborne aircraft within about a 35-mile radius of McCarran, up to 19,000 feet in altitude.

The total project cost – including the building construction, installation of air traffic control equipment, electronics, and electrical and mechanical systems – was about $111 million.

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