The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 00:00cat

New SFO Control Tower is State-of-the-Art

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New SFO Control Tower is State-of-the-Art robedgcumbe

This week San Francisco International Airport turns over its new control tower to the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA will spend a year outfitting the 221-foot, torch-like, flared cylinder with its systems, testing them and training controllers. The concrete spine of the tower is tied, with steel cables, to a 7-foot thick mat foundation, which is supported by 140-foot deep piers that reach the bedrock below. The tower contains two dampers, each 37,400 pounds, which help the shaft to remain still in high winds and to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. The FAA provided the majority of the $120 million dollars needed for project.

Recently the South Napa Earthquake shut down the small airport there, rendering the facility unusable due to broken windows. This will not happen to the new tower at SFO.

“They’re inch and a half thick pieces of glass that allows it to have some movement in an event, a shaking event,” said airport project manager Mark Costanzo.

“The basis of any control tower is the view out of the window. The primary role of any air traffic controller in a control tower is to visually identify the aircrafts, spot them, see their movements and ensure their safety by watching them,” said SFO Air Traffic Manager Andy Richards.

The new control tower will also be outfitted with the most up to date technology.

“This will be the most highly technically advanced tower in the country,” Richards explained.

HNTB provided the conceptual design of the structure and Hensel Phelps along with Fentress Architects designed and built the tower. There were also engineering services performed by Walter P. Moore, Rutherford + Chekene and Maffei Structural Engineering.

The old control tower will be torn down as soon as the new tower opens.


Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, ABC News, Travelskills

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