For Immediate Release

Release No. ASW 27-00
December 7, 2000
Contact: John Clabes, Roland Herwig
Phone: (405) 954-7500

A new tower at Hobby is giving air traffic control professionals modern facilities to serve the flying public, the airlines and Houston well into the 21st century.

City, aviation industry and FAA officials will gather at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 8, in the new tower to officially dedicate the building. Doug Murphy, FAA Southwest Region air traffic manager, from FAA's Fort Worth regional office will join local officials at the ceremony.

Air traffic control operations for William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) moved July 15 from the old Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tower, located on Paul B. Koonce Dr., to the new FAA tower located at 8410 Lockheed Ave. near the original 1940 air terminal. The new state-of-the-art facility cost $8.3 million, is 147 feet tall, and has a 7,300 square foot building housing electronic equipment and offices attached to its base.

The new tower is equipped with Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, DBRITE tower radar displays and RDVS voice-switching communications equipment.

The complex houses a staff of 35; this includes air traffic controllers, supervisory and support personnel. FAA's Houston Airways Facilities Sector Service Center also operates from the facility, providing electronic, environmental and maintenance support for the entire Houston area.

"Hobby Tower air traffic control personnel are proud of their safety and service record and strive to continually improve efficiency and customer service to all airport users," says FAA's Caroline Carey, tower manager.

The Houston Hobby tower safely and efficiently handled over 324,000 aircraft operations in 1999 for nine scheduled air carriers as well as numerous corporate, private, air taxi and helicopter operators. William P. Hobby Airport handled 8.9 million passengers in 1999 and is the 42nd busiest airport in the U.S.

Houston's first commercial airport opened for business in 1937. It was named Houston Municipal Airport and played a historic role in the growth of the City and the importance of air travel. during the early years of operation, the airport hosted many distinguished aviators such as Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes. In 1967, Houston Municipal Airport was renamed William P. Hobby Airport after the popular Texas governor.