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October 24, 2011

FAA opens new ATC tower at Memphis airport

The US Federal Aviation Administration has unveiled a $72.6m air traffic control tower and radar approach control at Memphis International Airport, Tennessee.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has unveiled a $72.6m air traffic control tower and radar approach control at Memphis International Airport, Tennessee.

The new 14-storey, 336ft tower rises above the old tower, which is 186ft high.

The new air traffic control tower is powered by Next Generation Air Transportation System technology, which will cater to additional traffic.

The tower’s top cabin has 16 windows offering full views of the area, and has the latest seismic, security and air traffic simulation capabilities.

The tower is equipped with ASDE-X technology, which penetrates rain, fog and darkness to give tower controllers a clear picture so they can safely move aircraft around the airport, and provides updates about aircraft positions every second.

The tower also has an integrated terminal weather system, an automated weather system that provides controllers near-term (0-30 minutes) predictions about upcoming weather events including wind shear, storm cell and lightning.

The standard terminal automation replacement system has bigger radar displays on colour monitors that are easier to read, and provides more detailed weather and flight information.

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