For Immediate Release

Release No. SW99120004
December 21, 1999
Contact: John Clabes
Phone: (405) 954-7500

AUSTIN, Texas – Federal Aviation Administration officials will dedicate the new Austin-Bergstrom International Airport tower and radar approach control facility in ceremonies Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Clyde DeHart Jr., the FAA's Southwest Region administrator, will speak along with Mayor Kirk Watson, city officials and other FAA officials. Tours of the new facility will begin at 11 a.m.

FAA contributed $180 million in equipment and grants at the new airport.

Austin-Bergstrom is the third major airport built in the United States since Dallas/Fort Worth in 1973. The others are Denver International and Northwest Arkansas. Austin-Bergstrom is also the last new airport to be built this century and the first conversion under current base closure and reutilization law. Total investment at the airport is nearing $1.0 billion.

FAA's capital investment program includes construction of the tower and approach control center, acquisition of equipment and systems, modification of the airspace and flight procedures for the terminal area and relocation of air traffic services from Mueller Airport.

The 12,500-square-foot approach control center is located on 13 acres in the center of the new airport. It provides space for air traffic control controllers, equipment and systems supporting the system and the air traffic control tower and the automated surface observing system.

Other equipment includes an Airport Surveillance Radar system (ASR-9) for coverage within 50 nautical miles, an Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS 11E) used to provide tracking information for air traffic services, and a Rapid Deployment Voice Switch, which is the newest radio/voice communication system used by the FAA.

The TRACON is a model installation for future airport development in the United States.

Instrument landing systems, a new weather system processor and other approach lighting and runway lighting systems were installed. Weather systems include a prototype Weather System Processor (WSP) designed to replace the Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS) now in use throughout the United States.