New Tower Over RNO

A new 200-foot air traffic control tower

will grace the Reno Tahoe International

Airport in the near future, helping to

make airline travel more efficient.

It will replace a tower built in 1957.

With its aging equipment and relatively

short stature, the old had become antiquated.

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and airport

administrators said

the old tower is incapable

of coping with

the ever-changing

airline industry.

"It became apparent

to me that we

needed to change

things," Reid said.

"We need to do

something to modernize


The new tower

will help to create

more airspace on the

airport's two parallel

runways. New technologies will allow air

traffic operators less time to sequence

aircraft on the two runways. As a result,

airlines will have more flexibility to schedule

flights, especially during peak

travel periods, such as

Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Building a new tower

is considered imperative

because of the significant

increase in the

number of passenger

and cargo planes

handled by the airport in the last decade.

Since 1990, passenger traffic has

increased over 80 percent with 4.9 million

passengers and 100 million

pounds of air cargo going through

the airport in 2001. That translates to

13,500 passengers arriving or departing

Reno Tahoe International along with

276,000 pounds of

air cargo on a

daily basis. The

airport conducts an

average of 380 air

traffic operations a


Reid was

instrumental in

putting the idea

into action. He

helped secure

$20.5 million of

the estimated

$24.5 million construction


through federal funding. The remainder

of the cost will soon be appropriated

through the federal budget.

"I want to particularly thank Sen. Reid

for securing $20.5 million so far to make

this project a reality," said John Farahi,

chairman of the Airport Authority of

Washoe County.

Construction of the new 200-foot control

tower is expected to begin in 2004 in

the south portion of the airport's parking

lot. The project is scheduled for completion

in 2006.


* The project will soon be under design

* Construction likely to commence as early

as 2004

* Completion likely in 2006

* The proposed tower will be nearly 200

feet in height, and will be one of the

tallest structures in the Truckee Meadows.

* The base building and TRACON will consist

of nearly 14,000 square feet

* The base building and TRACON will

include state-of-the-art communication

and automation systems.

* Total cost for this project is approximately

$24 million

* The project will have an estimated economic

impact of $11.8 million, and local

tax revenues would equate to approximately

$2 million.

Source: Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada

A. Main Reno-Tahoe Airport building and

parking garage.

B. Future RTA air traffic control tower site.

C. Current RTA control tower site.

ATC- Air Traffic Control Tower: The building on an

airport which houses the equipment and personnel

to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating

on the surface of the airport and in the airspace

within a specified radius of the airport, usually

five miles.

TRACON- Terminal Radar Approach Control: These

work areas are either located within the control

tower complex or in a separate building located on

or near the airport it serves. Using radarscopes,

controllers typically work an area of airspace with

a 50-mile radius and up to 17,000 feet of altitude.

Controllers in TRACONs determine the arriving

sequence that enter into the control towers's designated



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