Groundbreaking for New Air Traffic
In January, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will break ground for a new Air Traffic Control Tower and Facility at Memphis International Airport. Due to significant air traffic growth over the past 30 years, combined with traffic density and complexity continuing to increase at Memphis International, the existing control tower must be replaced to meet the activity demands and working-space needs. The current tower was commissioned in 1977.
The new tower will stand 336 feet tall which is approximately 150 feet taller than the current tower. The additional height will improve visibility of the airfield and increase coverage of the ground radar surveillance. The taller and more spacious tower will provide air traffic controllers with maximum visibility of airborne traffic patterns; a clear, unobstructed and direct view of the approaches to runway ends; and a view of all airport surface areas utilized for movement of aircraft under their control.
The cab at the top of the tower will increase in space from 200 square feet to 850 square feet. The new facility will include a 25,000 square foot Terminal Approach Control Radar (TRACON) building with administrative offices, and a 3,000 square foot Engine Generator Support building.
The new tower will be located to the west of the existing tower where the old airport outbound roadway stood.
The project is expected to take a little more than three years to complete and will be performed in three phases. Both the tower and base building have been wind tunnel tested and designed to meet the latest security, seismic, and force requirements.