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Why 3 Control Towers At DFW  
User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4363 times:

I have a question as to why there are 3 control towers at DFW. The (few) other airports that are busier seem to get by with one. Are they all active? At all times? Does it really contribute to safety? Isn't it a source of confusion/mistakes?

12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4315 times:

The original 1974 tower is the one in the middle of the terminal complex. Until somewhat recently, it remained the only one. Due to increased traffic, airport expansion, cramped space in the existing tower, and distant sight lines, it was decided to split up the operation, and put two towers on the far sides of the two sets of parallel runways.

With the airspace configuration at DFW, this is what made the most sense. The two towers operate independantly of each other (linked by land-lines when the need arises).

I do believe, though, that during the late night, when there is not a great deal of traffic, that the middle tower is used, and the other two are closed.

Tom in NO (at MSY)



"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
User currently offlineJohnnybgoode From Germany, joined Jan 2001, 2187 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4285 times:

i once heard that one of the towers was exclusively operating AA´s flights. however, i find this highly unlikely since that would certainly be confusing since AA´s aircraft are not concentrating on just two or three runways.
so, does anyone if this is true or not????

cheers
daniel



If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.
User currently offlineBaec777 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4231 times:

The 3 towers right now as the 1974 current center tower really for the terminals while the other 2 other tower(East & West) controls for the runways. Sometimes the center tower cant get a closer look to the runways when there are possible accidents/mechanical problems with jets on a runway.

Thats my only guess, prove me if Im wrong.

baec


User currently offlineDoug From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 857 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4207 times:

none of the 2 busier airports have the land mass that DFW has.7 runways with an eighth one on the way.You can fit LAX,MIA,and DTW into DFW.

User currently offlineBlink182 From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 1999, 5482 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4153 times:

Jonnybgoode-

American does not have it's own exclusive control tower. However, they do have their own ramp-control tower which is located between terminals A and C.
Here is a photo of it.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Brian Peters



blink



Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4140 times:

Like Baec777 mentioned, the tower in the terminal complex is for controling traffic in and out of the terminal area. While the other 2 are for the runway.

A similar situation in Denver.

Infact, DEN has 4 towers. A main one north of Concourse C which controls all the landings and take-off.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © DIAspotter



Now the other 3 towers are "mini" towers which is used to tell the aircraft where to go and where the gate location is.

There is a "mini" tower above the center of EACH concourse. Denver has 3 concourses, so there are 3 "mini" towers. You can see them here:

On the far right:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © AirNikon


Right behind the British Airways 777:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Søren Geertsen


There are several other airports in the world with these "mini" towers.

Regards



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineATA L1011 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1388 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4131 times:

The AA control tower deal is false, but to add to blink182 Delta has their own small ramp tower as well for terminal E.


Treat others as you expect to be treated!
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2051 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

The two new towers were commissioned in the early 1990s, in anticipation of the opening of two jet runways. The eastside runway (17L-35R) opened in 1996. It is quite distant from the central tower and the view of it is blocked by Delta's maintenance complex.

The proposed westside runway, which will hopefully break ground soon, presents a similar situation. Controllers in the central tower would find their view of the proposed runway completely obscured by the American hangars and the air cargo buildings. Hence the new towers.

In addition to the central tower and two main towers, there is also the AA ground control tower, and Terminals A, C and E all have their own ramp towers as well.

This is nothing new at large airports. Back in the early 1970s Love Field had ramp towers on the East and West Concourses, and the old Atlanta terminal (which closed in 1980) had three smaller towers as well.


User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4072 times:

DTW (Detroit) has three towers. One is the main tower near the midfield that is used for the main ATC operations. The old control tower on the Smith Terminal is still used, but by Wayne County and Operations. Northwest has a pretty good sized tower too on the Midfield terminal.

User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4069 times:

Is everyone clear hear? There are 3 active FAA control towers at DFW, this is in addition to a few mini towers located at the terminal buildings.

Mainly, I was just wondering how they do it: like does the center tower handle ground and ground only, or what? Also, when I've been spotting/listening at DFW it seems that planes fairly often change landing runways at the last minute (by their own request) without having to change tower frequencies. Furthermore, it seems the East side is a lot more active than the West side, so is the West side tower just for losers, or what?

regards,

RogueTrader


User currently offlineBacardi182 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1088 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4055 times:

I thought that only one tower was used at a time but they switch during the day because of sun conditions. For example the east tower will be used in the morning so as to have the sun at the controlers back while they can see the whole airport in front of them. I know for a fact that during some times of the day there is at least one tower that is closed.

User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (12 years 8 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4035 times:

Here's what I understand: The main east complex (17C/35C, 17R/35L) are controlled by the east tower on 125.55, and ground control is handled on 121.65. The far east runways (17L/35R, 13L/31R) have a separate tower frequency but still use the east tower. The main west complex (18L/36R, 18R/36L) are controlled from the west tower on 124.15. I'm told that at night they move the main operation to the central tower because they would have to stare into bright lights from the terminals if they used the east and west towers.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
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