Airways’ newly built air traffic control tower, which is based on a unique design, has opened at Wellington Airport in New Zealand.

The new Wellington air traffic control tower will replace the existing 58-year-old tower situated in a residential area overlooking the airport.

Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture in collaboration with Paris Magdalinos Architects, the new tower leans into the prevailing northerly wind at an angle of 12.5 degrees.

The eight-storey building is 32m high and is based on the latest 21st-century seismic engineering. It has been constructed on 13 base isolators and is built to withstand a tsunami.

“We’re confident that digital towers technology now has the capability to provide greater aviation safety and resiliency.”

Airways CEO Graeme Sumner said: “Our air traffic control towers are icons of New Zealand’s aviation industry, and one of our most tangible and visible representations of the work we do every day keeping our skies safe.

“As we look to the future of a more digitally driven way of delivering air traffic control, it’s fitting that one of the last of these physical towers to be built will be our most distinctive.”

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“We’re confident that digital towers technology now has the capability to provide greater aviation safety, resiliency and the option to provide extended levels of services to New Zealand’s regions. “Invercargill will be the first airport to launch a digital tower in 2020 and a contingency digital tower will also be in place in Auckland by 2020.”

The new Wellington tower, which was constructed by Hawkins Construction, will support the more than 97,000 aircraft that arrive and depart the airport each year.

Controllers working in the tower cab will be able to see the airfield at a 360-degree angle from 32m above.