New tower at SFO coming in 2011

A taller and more-spacious air traffic control tower at the San Francisco International Airport will begin to sprout upward in 2011 after the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to a contract Tuesday.

The $80 million upgrade, which is expected to begin in late 2011, will construct an entirely new tower that will be larger and taller than the old one.

The current tower stands 180 feet high with 520 square feet of work space. The new tower will add 48 feet in height to sit at 228 feet tall and have an extra 130 square feet to be at 650 square feet of work space.

According to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor, the larger capacity will give controllers a better view of the runway and a more comfortable working space.

“The [new] tower is taller and has a bigger controller work area to give controllers the best possible airfield sight lines,” he said.

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