Ground Broken On High-Tech Air Traffic Control Center

Ground is broken here in Houston on a high-tech air traffic control facility that will keep a close eye on skies from the Texas-Louisiana border all the way to Austin. Jack Williams reports.

It's called a Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON. It will be the home to more than 200 air traffic controllers responsible for about 16,000 square miles of air space. The 47,000 square foot facility will replace the one that's been in place at Bush Intercontinental Airport for the past 40 years. It will also feature what's know as NextGen technology, satellite instead of ground-based air traffic control radar. This is the Federal Aviation Administration's Teri Bruner.

New Air Traffic Control

"Houston is a key piece of the NextGen implementation and when this facility is commissioned in 2013, Houston is going to be a key player in the new NextGen technology."

The $43 million facility will sit on 21-acres of city-owned land at Bush Airport. Eric Potts is the Interim Director of the Houston Airport System.

"This is going to be top-notch. The FAA is making sure that they're ready for the next generation of air traffic control that needs to happen for the system."

Last year, controllers at Houston TRACON handled more than 900-thousand individual aircraft operations.  

Jack Williams, KUHF- Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...