EANA readies for new ATC tower at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Argentina’s busiest airport

The new control tower at Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, Buenos Aires’ metropolitan airport, is nearing completion

Argentina’s transport minister Guillermo Dietrich and the president of EANA, the country’s air navigation service provider, Agustín Rodríguez Grellet welcomed aviation authorities, airport managers and the chief executives of the major Argentina-based airlines at a media event this week.

The new facility, due to enter into service by end October, features a spacious cabin towering 32 metres above the tarmac of Argentina’s busiest commercial airport, which handled 11,631,805 passengers in 2017. In August, it posted 12,115 aircraft movements.

The cabin affords unrestricted, 360-degree view of the airport as well as aircraft flying over the River Plate opposite the city. Additionally, its 50 ATC staff will for the first time be able to receive training in a dedicated training room as opposed to the old tower where training has taken place in a break room.

For the first time in Argentine aviation, the new control tower also features full access for disabled persons. A much higher control tower presently building at Ezeiza International airport and due to open in late 2018 will offer the same access standards.

Also on hand at the media event was Andrés Biga, a controller who works at the Ezeiza Area Control Centre. Biga suffered a road accident some years ago and has been using a wheelchair ever since.

Owing to his disability and the outdated design of control towers he was unable to work as a tower controller. Now he has joined EANA’s Infrastructure Division and will start touring ATC facilities across Argentina in order to assess accessibility standards.

EANA, which took over the management of the country’s air traffic control system little more a year ago, has made a firm commitment on this and other infrastructure upgrades in line with government policy.

Technology-wise, the new control tower features two important innovations: the introduction of electronic flight progress strips. This will be replicated at Ezeiza when its new control tower opens next year), and an autonomous ATM system

The Indra-developed system will continue to operate should the data connection with the Ezeiza area control centre be lost. Other technological innovations include state-of-the-art safety features as well as an uninterruptible power supply.

The transport ministry is pushing ahead with an aggressive plan of aeronautical infrastructure development as it seeks to ensure that it can handle air travel doubling by 2019.

Runways have been completely resurfaced using the latest technology and the latest in in runway lighting at five airports (including San Martín de los Andes, Trelew, Mendoza, Tucumán and Ezeiza).

Aeroparque’s will be the second new control tower to enter into operation after Iguazú’s. Following entry into service of another new control tower – Latin America’s tallest – under construction at Ezeiza, control towers will be revamped across Argentina. A further seven runways are also due to be renovated.

EANA’s current investment plan, worth around US$ 150 million, includes new communications systems, radars, VOR/ILSs, airspace redesign making much higher use of PBN procedures, and flight inspection aircraft which would support SAR missions at a later stage.

When the new control tower at Aeroparque enters into service, the old terminal building on which the present control tower sits, and which marks the northern end of airport, will be demolished to make room for four additional aircraft parking stands.

Plans are afoot for Aeroparque, which is working to capacity, to start offering approach control service in the mid-term. The move, coupled with the redesign of the BAIRES TMA, is aimed at increasing flight movements at peak times. Once this occurs, the airport’s physical layout should be the only cap on aircraft movements.


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