Air Traffic Control Tower
Memphis International Airport
|The Air Traffic Control tower commissioned for service in 1977 is being replaced and is scheduled for demolition in 2011.
The original Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers at the Memphis airport were located in a "cab," the glass enclosed room from which they view aircraft traffic, on top of the 1938 terminal north of Winchester Road. In conjunction with the expansion of the airport to the south of Winchester Road, a new combination tower and office building was opened about 1962, still north of Winchester Road but south of the "old terminal." In 1977, a taller, dedicated air traffic control tower, pictured to the left, was built south of Winchester Road. The 185 foot structure was needed to give controllers a better view of the expanding airport's runways and taxiways.
The 1977 tower is being replaced by one of the tallest air traffic control towers in the United States of America. The new tower, about 125 feet southwest of the location of the 1977 structure, was built, again, to give controllers a better view of the airport ground traffic, both aircraft and non-flying vehicles on the runways, taxiways, and ramps. The new facility stands 336 feet above the ground. The new tower will go into service in early 2011. The old tower will be demolished. The cost of the new tower and tearing down the old one: $72-million.
The 1962 office building and tower has been removed, apparently in 1993 because it obstructed the view from the 1977 control tower of a then forthcoming taxiway.
The building which once supported the 1938 air traffic control cab remains, albeit without the glass cab. It was once the airport passenger terminal and now serves as the "executive terminal" for the fixed based operator (private aviation services) Signature Flight Support.