NextGen-Equipped Tower Coming to San Francisco International

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta participated in the groundbreaking July 9.

The FAA announced that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta helped in a groundbreaking ceremony July 9 for a new, NextGen-equipped air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport. It will cost about $102 million and should be operational in late 2015. SFO was the nation’s 15th busiest airport in 2011 with about 404,000 takeoffs and landings.

"This critical infrastructure project will create good-paying jobs in the Bay Area," LaHood said. "The new tower will help us maintain a safe air transportation system for the flying public and provide economic benefits for the future."

"As we modernize the airspace system through NextGen satellite technology, we also have to modernize our facilities to ensure they meet the highest safety and performance standards," said Huerta. "Air traffic controllers will have unobstructed, 360-degree airfield views, a facility constructed to the modern seismic standards, and the most up-to-date equipment."

The tower will be 221 feet tall with a 650-square-foot controller work area –- making it larger than the existing tower, which is 190 feet tall and has a 525-square-foot controller work area. FAA will pay up to $69.5 million toward the project's total cost, and airport authorities will supervise construction. FAA said the new tower will be constructed of recycled building materials and will feature environmental elements including reflective roofing, an electric vehicle charging station, and energy-efficient mechanical and electrical equipment.

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