BIGGS ARMY AIRFIELD, Ft. Bliss (KTSM) - A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday morning to showcase Briggs Army Airfield's new air traffic control tower.
Engineers say it was an 8 year process, the tower took a year and a half to build and the project cost around $15 million. They say it's equipped with state of the art equipment to help air traffic controllers be more efficient.
NewsChannel 9 was given a tour of the facility. White says it has one of the largest runways in the United States and is the largest control tower he's seen.
The tower is 100 feet tall and eight stories. Engineers say it's one of the only air traffic control towers in the army with an elevator, much better than having to walk up the tower's eight flights of stairs. Although White says the most important part of the facility is their ability to make things safer for aircraft.
"Being an air traffic controller we play with people's lives everyday so we have to make sure that we provide the best service we can possibly do and with this new equipment we are able to do that," White said.
He says they serve about 4,000 aircraft a month. The new tower is more centered than the one they used before, which he says gives them a better view to better direct traffic. The old tower will soon be demolished.
Also the federal government has recognized the new tower for being environmentally friendly.