FAA Dedicates New Reno Air Traffic Control Tower


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FAA Dedicates New Reno Air Traffic Control Tower

Bill Goldston

October 27, 2010 - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday dedicated a new, modernized 195 foot-tall air traffic control tower at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The new tower was built with FAA facilities and equipment dollars, which are used to modernize the air traffic control system. 

?Upgrading our aviation infrastructure is one of our highest priorities, and this new tower will provide Reno-Tahoe International Airport with one of the nation?s most modern air traffic control facilities,? U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. 

?This is a great day for aviation in Nevada,? said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.  ?The new tower will improve safety and efficiency by providing controllers with better airfield views and more modern equipment.? 


Reno?s new control tower is almost three times the height of the old tower, which was built in 1957.  The airport?s runways are considerably longer than they were when the old tower was built, which made it challenging for controllers to see aircraft on certain taxiways and runways. The old tower also experienced glare from lights on the cargo areas. 

Reno controllers also now will have state-of-the-art equipment that includes multicolor radar displays, touch-screen voice communications, and touch-screen work stations that provide instant information on everything from weather conditions to air traffic manuals. Double-thick sun shades will help prevent glare inside the 610-square-foot controller work area. Additionally, the new tower will have two backup power systems to help ensure uninterrupted operations.  

Tower controllers direct aircraft within about five miles of the airport up to an altitude of 3,000 feet.  The new tower and a 10,000 square-foot base building cost $29.4 million to build and equip. Construction began in January 2008.  Reno-Tahoe International Airport served about 100,000 flights in 2009. 

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is a joint civil-military public airport located three nautical miles (6 km) southeast of the central business district of Reno, a city in Washoe County, Nevada, United States. It serves the Reno metropolitan area, western Nevada, and parts of eastern California and is the closest commercial airport to the vacation and ski resort destination of Lake Tahoe.


It is the second busiest commercial airport in the state of Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and it is ranked at the 61th busiest commercial airport in the nation. The Nevada Air National Guard maintains the 152nd Airlift Wing to the southwest of the airport's main terminal.  

The passenger terminal is named after the late US Senator Howard Cannon. The main lobby of the terminal contains an exhibit featuring the bust of Nevada State Senator (and Nevada State Senate Minority Leader) William J. "Bill" Raggio. Raggio is described in the exhibit as being "The Father of the Airport Authority." 



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