New Air Traffic Control Tower to Lead Airport Expansion
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is equipped for continued expansion and will be able to handle expected growth in air traffic thanks to the opening of the new $89 million air traffic control tower, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today after an inspection and tour of the new facility.
The new tower began operation Jan. 13, and will go fully operational on Jan. 27, replacing the existing 30-year-old facility.
According to Peters, the new tower will give an unobstructed view of the entire airfield to air traffic controllers, unlike the current tower which is partially blocked by a parking garage.
Peters also noted the new tower will have the best new technology in order to make flying in and out of Sky Harbor safer and more efficient. Traffic at the airport, which is the nation’s 8th busiest, is expected to double to nearly one million take-offs and landings annually by 2025. The new digital and ground radar technology will enable Sky Harbor Airport to handle the projected growth, she said.
“Too often, at too many airports, more traffic means more delays,” said Secretary Peters. “But, thanks to the technology in this new tower, more traffic will mean more flights, more convenience, and more opportunities.”
Additionally, the Secretary noted that the new tower will give controllers a better view of the airfield while protecting them from Phoenix’s bright sunlight and harsh temperatures.
“We’re giving controllers a new work place and Phoenix a new landmark,” Secretary Peters said.