Boise Airport to dedicate new air traffic control tower, radar control system

November 12, 2013 

Idaho's second tallest structure and the Boise Airport's new radar-based air traffic control system have been in use since Sept. 15.

Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration will dedicate both in a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Boise Mayor David Bieter, Airport Director Rebecca Hupp and two FAA officials.

The airport's new radar control system, dubbed Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, uses radar displays and radios to guide aircraft generally within a radius of 30-50 miles of the airport and as high as 10,000 feet, according to the FAA. Once an aircraft comes within five miles of the airport and lower than 2,500 feet, TRACON hands over guidance to the air traffic control tower. When the aircraft leaves TRACON's range, its guidance goes over to the FAA's En Route Centers, which help it arrive at its destination.

The Boise system was the most advanced in the country when it was installed, airport spokeswoman Patti Miller said.

The FAA covered the new tower's $33 million cost. Construction began in 2008.

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