Client Port Authority of NY & NJ

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) - Air Traffic Control Tower

Jamaica, New York

The air traffic control tower (ATCT) at JFK was the first of a new generation of towers, designed to respond to air transportation technological developments. As executive architect for the FAA, LEO A DALY worked for ten years developing control tower prototypes prior to the JFK tower. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey selected LEO A DALY as designer and executive engineer to design a 32-story tower to be a symbol of the revitalized JFK, just as the airport's original 15-story tower became the airport's symbol when it was constructed in 1957. Harmonizing with JFK’s new master architecture, the tower’s concrete lines and rounded projecting cantilevers place the tower in its context as a new icon.

Rising 321 feet, the tower consists of a reinforced concrete shaft housing two elevators, two independent emergency stairs and mechanical and electrical chases. A cantilevered four-level, all-glass facade cab houses FAA administrative functions, electronic equipment and mechanical systems support in the three levels below the uppermost control cab. A cantilevered Port Authority Ramp Control/Gate Assignment Level is located 113-FT above the ramp, and a two-story FAA administrative facility at the tower's base accommodates mechanical and electrical equipment rooms at aircraft ramp level. A 100-FT elevated enclosed link connects the tower facility to the International Arrivals Building.

At a glance

320 FT Tower

2-Story Base Building

2 Elevators

2 Independent Emergency Stairs

Cantilevered, Four-Level, All-Glass Façade Cab

Cantilevered Port Authority Ramp Control/Gate Assignment Level


Design Award
Concrete Reinforced Steel Industry (CRSI)
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Industry/AIA

Build New York Award
General Building Contractors of NY State

Design Excellence Award
Chamber of Commerce, Borough of Queens

Annual CIB Award
The Concrete Industry Board, Inc. of New York


Site Analysis, Field Observations

Feasibility and Concept Studies Program

Architectural Design

Construction Documents

321 FT

JFK's ATCT was the tallest tower in North America at its time of construction.


The new ATCT was the first major element completed in the airport’s $1.7 billion redevelopment plan.

50 Million

travelers go through JFK every year, making it the sixth busiest airport in the United States.