The new control tower at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will commence operations from 16 December this year.

Following an inspection of the tower, the launch date was announced by Taiwan’s Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung.

Construction of the tower started in 2016. Designed by a French team, the new tower is located between the first and second airport towers.

The 65m-high control tower offers a broader vision of weather and the airport’s restricted area as it is 2.5 times larger than the existing tower.

It features a control tower simulator, which will be used to train new controllers.

The restricted areas in the tower can be monitored by trainees using a 360° projection screen.

The current tower has been operating for 40 years and is unable to handle a large number of flights.

According to Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the airport handled 100 daily flights when it first opened and now handles 700.

Local newspaper Taipei Times quoted Chia-lung as saying: “The design of the new control tower was inspired by the Queen’s Head in Yehliu Geopark.

“It has integrated aviation control, automatic dependent surveillance, aviation weather and 12 other advanced systems, enabling air traffic controllers to safely and efficiently guide flight operations with the assistance of intelligent facilities.”

This March, approximately 121 flights were unable to depart on time after a pothole was found in the south runway of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The 45cm-long, 30cm-wide and 3cm-deep pothole was discovered during a routine inspection.