Alpine Demolition is taking the tower down the old fashioned way with heavy construction equipment. The demolition started at 7 a.m. Friday and is expected to wrap up by the afternoon.
The old tower was built in 1967 on a design that was rooted in World War II. Back then, airport architects did not seem to take into account factors such as sight lines, amenities or the airport's future growth.
It also had some quirks. The tower was built north of the runway, which meant controllers had to look into the sun. Not a good thing when you're trying to guide aircraft.
The tower has already been replaced by a new $23.7 million, state-of-the-art facility. The FAA says the new tower provides air traffic controllers with better airfield views and with the latest radar and communications technology.
It came on line as part of the FAA's Next Generation Air Traffic Control system. The agency describes NextGen is a comprehensive overhaul of the national airspace system to make air travel more convenient and dependable.
The new facility includes the 124-foot-tall air traffic control tower topped by a 525-square-foot tower cab with four air traffic controller positions and one supervisor position. A 6,000 square-foot, single-story base building will house training rooms, administrative offices and equipment rooms.
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