Top 16 Remarkable Air Traffic Control Towers In The World

Payal Shah

Top 16 Remarkable Air Traffic Control Towers In The World

Air traffic control towers are some of the most noticeable structures at any airport in the world. 

These huge buildings are essential to maintaining both passenger and aircraft safety in the air. 

Even though the majority of air traffic control towers may appear to be similar at first glance, some are easily identified by their amazing features and unique designs. 

In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the most remarkable air traffic control towers around the world.

1. Orlando Airport Air Traffic Control Towers (345 Feet)

The 345-foot (105-meter) tower, which opened in 2002, is also the tenth-tallest tower globally. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tower and the US Air Force (USAF) control tower were the two towers that made up the airport before the new one was opened.

With the opening of the new building, the USAF tower ceased operations and the FAA tower was taken down. 

Passenger volume at MCO has increased significantly since the opening of the new tower and the airport’s expansion. 

The airport surpassed Miami International Airport to become the busiest in the state in 2017 with close to 45 million passengers handled there.

Orlando Airport Tower
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2. Memphis International Airport Tower (336 Feet)

Four years after FedEx started and established Memphis International Airport as its global hub, the previous 186-foot tower at the airport saw its grand opening in 1977. 

The current tower’s construction was prompted by a significant increase in the airport’s size and activity in 2011. Not long after the new tower started functioning, the old one was destroyed. 

Beginning in 1938, controllers at Memphis Airport handled traffic from a cab perched atop the terminal. In 1963, the first nine-story freestanding tower was built.

3. Houston Tower (328 feet)

The airport was renamed after former President George H.W. Bush by Houston in 1997, the same year that controllers got started operations from the current tower. 

Still standing, though, is the former tower, which stood 170 feet tall and was the first of the FAA’s I.M. Pei-designed towers. 

It was opened in 1969 and is being considered for historic landmark status. In 2018, the Pei Tower hosted an interactive art exhibition.

Houston airport air traffic control tower
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4. Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (426 Feet)

located 50 kilometers from the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur International Airport boasts the 2nd largest control tower in the world, rising to a height of 130 meters. 

Approximately 120 flights per hour are piloted from the torch-shaped control tower.

The Department of Civil Aviation, a division of the Ministry of Transport, is in charge of overseeing the entire air traffic control system. The control tower was constructed in 1998.

Kisho Kurokawa designed the airport. Malaysia Airports Berhad is the operator, and the Malaysian government owns it.

Kuala Lumpur Airport air traffic control tower
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5. Atlanta Tower (398 feet)

Atlanta Tower, which was finished in 2006, is 167.5 feet higher than its predecessor, which was destroyed a few weeks after the current tower was built. 

The new tower was constructed to go together with the airport’s 5th runway. Standing behind competitors in Saudi Arabia (446 feet), Malaysia, and Thailand (434 feet) in terms of height, the facility is also the 5th tallest in the world.

Atlanta airport air traffic control tower

6. Las Vegas Tower (362.8 feet)

This tower was constructed not too long ago, much like a few other ones on our list. The 200 ft tower at LAS was replaced by the new structure, which opened in 2016. 

The cab’s beam-less design is one of the tower’s unique qualities. The design gives the ATC workers a better view of the airfield, which increases their productivity.

Las Vegas airport air traffic control tower

7. Denver Tower (333 Feet)

In 1995, Denver got more than just a new control tower. It acquired a brand-new airport, the country’s first significant metropolis airport constructed in 20 years. 

When the Denver Tower opened, it was the highest building in the United States. Air traffic in the Mile-High City has been passing through Stapleton International Airport since 1929. 

There were renovations in 1953 and 1967 after the initial tower was constructed in 1941.

denver airport air traffic control tower
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8. Cleveland Tower (324 feet)

The FAA hosted delegations from around the world to tour the current Cleveland Tower, which opened in 2015 and is one of several towers that have served the airport since the Cleveland Tank Plant opened in 1925. 

Operating since 1987 was the airport’s first modernly designed tower, as well as its predecessor. 

Cleveland has a rich aviation legacy, having established the nation’s first municipal airfield, control tower, and airfield lighting system.

Cleveland airport air traffic control tower
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9. Charlotte Tower (370 feet)

Because of the newly built US Airways hub at the airport or because of possible economic growth, the Charlotte Airport Authority planned for increased air traffic and built a 2nd parallel runway. 

The tower’s construction was finished in 2019. A Critical Power Distribution System II Power System, an 850-square-foot cab, and a 41,900-square-foot base building/TRACON are all part of the tower.

Charlotte airport air traffic control tower
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10. Miami Tower (332 feet)

The existing tower at Miami International Airport, which opened its doors in 2002, is the tenth in a series of air traffic facilities that originated in 1941. 

The first tower was maintained in real-time due to an increase in air traffic and was originally used as a timing tower and judging stand for the “All American Air Maneuvers.” 

The tower in use today was constructed ninety yards away from the one that was in use in 1985. 

Miami airport air traffic control tower
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11. Tokyo International Airport (380 Feet)

At 115.7 meters, the Tokyo-Haneda International Airport’s new control tower ranks 4th in the world in terms of height. It was inaugurated in January 2010. 

The new 2500-meter track, located 4 kilometers from the old tower, required the construction of a tower 38 meters higher than the old one.

Tokyo International Airport air traffic control tower
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12. Indianapolis Tower (349.5 Feet)

The control tower at Indianapolis International Airport is the 4th tallest tower in the United States. The tower is 349.5 feet tall and was constructed in 2006. 

The major spike in passengers at IND in 1996 gave rise to the concept of the new tower and terminal building. 

The estimated $1.1 billion cost of the new terminal and tower was financed by a combination of public and private sources. 

Indianapolis Airport air traffic control tower
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13. Suvarnabhumi International Airport (434 Feet)

With an east runway measuring 4,000 meters long and 60 meters wide and a west runway measuring 3,700 meters long and 60 meters wide, the airport can accommodate roughly 76 flights per hour.

Aeronautical Radio of Thailand and the Siam Syntech-Unique Engineering group developed the ATC tower. 

The tower’s construction took 5 years to complete, costing THB574.8 million. Thales provided the tower’s technology and devices.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport air traffic control tower
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14. Abu Dhabi International Airport (358 Feet)

The tower was constructed in 2011 as part of a larger expansion program overseen by Parsons, which aimed to increase the airport’s capacity to 27 million passengers annually by 2017 and to 40 million by 2030. It has eight posts for air control and twelve for ground control.

The air traffic management systems and the multi-sensor tracking system of the Thales EUROCAT system are integrated into the control systems that Thales provides.

Abu Dhabi International Airport air traffic control tower
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15. Vienna International Airport (358 Feet)

Many crucial amenities that ensure the security of visitors to Central Europe are located within the air traffic control tower of Vienna International Airport. 

These consist of a base for air traffic control and an area for visual airport surveillance at the top of the tower.

This air traffic control tower was not only functionally designed by the architects.

Vienna International Airport air traffic control tower

16. San Francisco International Airport

The air traffic control tower at San Francisco International Airport is designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 because the airport is located just 4 miles from the San Andreas Fault. 

The towering 67 meters tall structure was created by Fentress Architects in collaboration with HNTB. 

Its vertical post tension system keeps the tower from toppling over during strong wind gusts and allows it to “self-center” in the case of an earthquake.

According to Fentress Architects, the geometrically intricate tower has a twisting façade that “resembles a torch, hearkening back to a time in the city’s history when torches were used to guide ships into the dock.”

San Francisco International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower
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Air traffic control towers may appear to be basic structures, but the towers listed above show that they can be both useful and visually appealing. 

These towers, which range from the Charlotte Tower to the Cleveland Tower inspired by a spinning top, are examples of the imaginative work of architects and designers. 

These incredible air traffic control towers are sure to impress, regardless of whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or just value good design.

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