TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The new Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) air traffic control tower, which is slated to begin operations in December, was inspired by Queen's Head rock in northern Taiwan.
The current tower has been in operation since 1979. According to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the number of flights per day in 1979 was 100, but in the four decades since, that number has risen to 700.
As the air traffic control tower's facilities have been increasingly inadequate to handle the increased number of flights, and as visibility is poor, the CAA promoted the building of a new tower. Construction began in earnest in July 2016, and the building is expected to open on Dec. 16, reported CNA.
The new tower, which was designed by a French team, is located between the airport's first and second towers. Its design was inspired by Queen's Head rock in New Taipei City's Yehliu Geopark. Including its 3-meter long antennas, the tower stands 65 meters in height.
Part of the tower's outer wall facing the first tower is white, while the side facing the second tower is steel gray, resulting in a unique new landmark at the nation's international gateway. According to Air Navigation and Weather Services, the new tower is 19 meters taller than the old one, greatly improving the field of view for air traffic control personnel and enhancing ground and flight safety at the airport.
In addition to the main structure of the tower, the complex also includes a flight building, power air conditioning building, and backup building. The tower itself comes equipped with integrated aviation control, automatic dependent surveillance, aviation weather, and a dozen other sophisticated systems, CNA quoted Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) as saying.
The CAA estimates that by 2030, TPE will see 1,200 flights taking off and landing each day and that the new tower has the capacity to manage this increased amount of traffic.
(Civil Aeronautics Administration photo)
Taoyuan MRT video introducing new tower: