For Immediate Release

May 31, 2011
Contact: Ian Gregor
Phone: 310-725-3580; 424-731-0215


LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt helped break ground today for a new, $99 million air traffic control tower and radar approach control at McCarran International Airport.

“This project will benefit passengers by enhancing safety and efficiency at the airport, while also providing good jobs for Nevada workers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “It’s good for the local economy, good for air traffic control and good for the airport.”

“The McCarran International Airport of today is a far cry from what it was when the current tower and TRACON were built,” Administrator Babbitt said. “This brand-new, modernized facility will give air traffic controllers better airfield views and help improve airport efficiency.”

The project includes a 352-foot-tall air traffic control tower and a 52,800-square-foot base building, which will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), air traffic control training simulators, administrative offices and equipment. The current control tower, which dates from the early 1980s, is about 200 feet tall, while the base building is 13,740 square feet.

A taller tower is needed to provide controllers with better airfield views. Additionally, McCarran’s air traffic has increased dramatically since the current tower was built, creating a need for more controller space in both the tower and TRACON.

McCarranInternational Airport was the eighth-busiest U.S. airport in 2010 when it served more than 505,000 flights. The FAA forecasts more than 700,000 annual flights at McCarran by 2020.

The total project cost, including the installation of air traffic control equipment, electronics, power supplies, computers and heating and air conditioning is expected to be about $99 million.

Construction will begin in June 2011 and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2013. The FAA plans to start using the new facility in early 2015, following the installation of electronics, air traffic control and computer equipment, heating and air conditioning, and other systems.

The new McCarran facility is the second major air traffic control construction project the FAA has undertaken in Nevada in recent years. In October 2010, the FAA commissioned a new air traffic control tower at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

###