For Immediate Release

Release No. AWP5-0203
May 9, 2003
Contact: Donn Walker
Deborah Ostreicher / Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phone: (310) 725-3580

PHOENIX — The Federal Aviation Administration will break ground Monday to begin construction of a new Airport Traffic Control Tower at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

United States Representative Ed Pastor (D – Arizona) will be joined by William C. Withycombe, FAA Western-Pacific Regional Administrator, and Phoenix Mayor Skip Rimsza for the groundbreaking on Monday, May 12, at 10:30 a.m. at Sky Harbor’s Terminal 3, Baggage Claim Level A east. Airport staff and signage will be on site to direct media to the event.

The new tower – whose design height is 335 feet – will provide controllers with unobstructed views of the entire airfield, and permit visual and electronic monitoring of takeoffs, landings and ground movement of aircraft. When completed, it will replace the 181-foot tower west of Terminal 3, built in the 1970s.

As part of the project, the FAA also will build a new Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility at Sky Harbor. TRACON controllers monitor and control aircraft as they approach or depart the airport area.

“This project will truly enhance the efficiency of the FAA’s operations at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport by placing the control tower and TRACON facility in one location,” Withycombe said. “We appreciate the support and cooperation we’ve gotten from the many parties involved here, including Congressman Pastor, Mayor Rimsza, and Sky Harbor officials. They’ve helped to make this project a reality.”

The present TRACON facility is on the north side of the airport, but the new tower and TRACON will be built in a single structure just east of the Terminal 3 parking garage.

Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2005.

The work will have minimal impact on the traveling public. The new tower and TRACON are expected to cost approximately $54 million and will be paid for with federal funds. The contractor is Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., of Pasadena, Calif.