Distinguishable by its ‘screw’ like appearance and measuring 132.2m high, ‘Survarnabhumi’ International Airport’s control tower holds the title of the world’s tallest control tower. When the airport officially opened in September 2006, it also broke other world records. At 563,000 square metres, the passenger terminal became the largest in the world and the airport also features the world’s longest runway measuring 75.3 metres wide and a staggering 4,000 metres long.
Recognising the challenge of creating a structure that both fulfilled the client’s aesthetic aspiration and a need for it to safely extend operators a clear field of view, Tex ATC were engaged by the client design team, as a visual control room (VCR) specialist, to assist in the design and development of the VCR. Tex centered the VCR design on the tower core uniformly transferring the structural loads through 6 vertical central columns which permit a 360⁰ cantilevered roof design.
The inboard locality of the columns allows air traffic controllers to be seated in an array to the exterior of the room achieving uninterrupted visibility to the airport extents and grouping in teams to support each runway operation. The column arrangement also supported the installation of the Radome on the roof and the routing of engineering and avionic services not only from the VCR to the tower roof, but also directly down the core of the tower to any floor. Subsequently, the format of the tower enables the Facilities Management team to undertake tasks without interruption to air operations and other operations in the building.
The tower at Suvarnabhumi is capable of handling 76 movements an hour.