For Immediate Release

Release No. AWP5-0103
May 9, 2003
Contact: Donn Walker
Phone: (310) 725-3580


Tower design height: 335 feet overall; 300 feet to the cab floor.

Cab area: 850 square feet.

TRACON area: 39,000 square feet.

Estimated total cost (including equipment): $54 million.

Contractor: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., of Pasadena, Calif., is architect, engineer and general contractor.

The new Airport Traffic Control Tower and TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) facility at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport will have several innovative features and enhancements – including new, state-of-the-art aircraft tracking equipment:

  • The TRACON will feature the FAA's new Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System. STARS significantly updates the existing technology and provides new features that are easier to modify and update.
  • STARS has two fully-redundant backup systems running at all times and can track as many as 1,350 airborne aircraft simultaneously. The system can be fed by up to 16 short- and long-range radar systems, 128 controller terminals and 20 remote air traffic control towers.
  • The 20" x 20" color displays on STARS monitors can display up to six distinct levels of weather data (identified by different colors) on the screen with aircraft tracks and data, allowing controllers to direct traffic around bad weather more accurately.
  • The cab – where the controllers work – at the new Sky Harbor tower will have three feet of space between the rear of the controller consoles and the tower's exterior walls. This will allow easy access to equipment for maintenance and repairs, without disturbing air traffic operations.
  • The tower and TRACON’s voice and data transmission lines will link with the fiber-optic loop already in place at Sky Harbor. Fiber-optic networks operate at a higher speed, have a larger bandwith, have greater resistance to electromagnetic interference, and are easier to maintain than traditional transmission systems.
  • The facilities will also have new voice communication systems, airport surface detection equipment, and an enhanced traffic management system.

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