Stantec is to provide architecture and engineering design services for the new air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control base building in Anchorage, Alaska.

The facility will provide air traffic control for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), which includes the world’s largest seaplane base, at Lake Hood.

When complete, the air traffic control tower (ATCT) will be the tallest structure in Alaska at more than 300ft, nearly twice as tall as the existing tower. Clad with a durable metal panel rainscreen and glazing, the 12-sided cab will improve technology and viewing to control aircraft movements. According to Stantec, which was appointed to the project by the FAA, the design addresses overcrowding, incorporating additional space for supervisory and support staff, as well as National Air Traffic Controllers Association representatives.

The two-storey TRACON building, adjacent to the ATCT, serves as a base for radar-approach operations, environmental, and administrative functions. Stantec’s design for this 35,000ft2 building will include a metal panel rainscreen exterior façade and a low wall and roof-to-floor area ratio to improve energy efficiency.

“It’s an honour to work with the FAA again to upgrade the air traffic control and radar approach facilities at Anchorage International Airport,” said Alex Thome, principal in Stantec’s airport practice. “This facility is critical to the future safe movement of millions of passengers and much of the air cargo entering and exiting the United States. Combining Stantec’s Alaska-specific design experience from our Anchorage staff with our global aviation-design expertise allows us to provide the FAA the best of both worlds.”

The baseline elements of the ATCT design are strong, simple shapes without extraneous angles, a high-performance façade, and exterior finishes that are robust, virtually maintenance free, and exceedingly durable. Stantec will focus on keeping the design of the ATCT/TRACON operationally efficient, emphasising design elements that support safety, sustainability, and the facility’s mission-critical purpose.

The new building will include floor plans that optimise operations and maintenance and include energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Structurally, the ATCT will meet the needs of high seismic performance in a cold region to provide ANC staff with a safe and steady work environment in all conditions.

ANC is in a highly seismic zone, requiring the new facilities’ design to accommodate significant ground motions with additional structural and life-safety precautions to keep air traffic controllers and FAA staff safe. The airport’s original air traffic control tower was destroyed in the 1964 magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the most powerful ever in North America, and rebuilt in 1977.

Stantec’s in-house team and sub-consultants will provide architecture for both facilities, as well as civil, life safety, structural, electrical, fibre-optic transmission system, ICT, mechanical, and sustainability design services.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is the gateway to Alaska and the United States, with approximately 5.7 million passengers and more than 3 million tons of cargo passing through the airport each year. The airport sits on the traditional land of the Dena’ina people.

Image: Stantec