QUEENS - A new state-of-the-art control tower was dedicated today at LaGuardia Airport.
The $100 million tower was funded completely with federal tax dollars. The new facility has replaced the smaller 46-year-old tower that had become an icon for pilots and travelers alike.
The tower features an unobstructed view of the airport, state-of-the-art computers and satellite guidance, as well as a new surface radar system. The radar allows controllers to track every plane and vehicle at the airport to prevent accidents.
"Now, with this ground-based radar you have a virtual window to the airport even when you can't see anything," says Bill McLoughin, of the Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Except for improving safety at the airport, the new high-tech tower is also expected to help with on-time performance.
The old control tower will be taken apart in March.