The air traffic control tower is the most important part of any airport, yet it's also the most unacknowledged. Fliers seldom stop to admire their ethereal beauty and futuristic silhouettes. We're missing out: These towers are fascinating architectural specimens.

Below you'll find our tribute to the incredible architectural variety and delicate design of air traffic control towers all over the world. If your local tower is missing, drop it in the comments!


The Suvarnabhumi International Airport (aka New Bangkok International Airport of Thailand) has the world's tallest air traffic control tower, at 132.2 meters.

Photo: Ed Wray/AP


The world’s 2nd tallest ATC tower can be found at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang, Malaysia.

Photo: Vincent Thian/AP


Hartsfield-Jackson airport, Atlanta – the world’s third tallest ATC tower

Photo: David Goldman/AP

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John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Manchester Airport, Manchester, England

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images


The new tower at the McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images


Los Angles International Airport (LAX), California.

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images


Opa-locka Executive Airport, Florida.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images


Charles-de-Gaulle airport, Roissy, Paris, France.

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Gatwick Airport, London, England.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


Berlin Tegel Airport, Berlin, Germany.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images


O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois.

Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images


Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, Berlin, Germany.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images


Airport Madrid-Barajas, Madrid, Spain.

Photo: Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images


Brussels National Airport, Steenokkerzeel, Brussels, Belgium.

Photo: Mark Renders/Getty Images


Lester B. Pearson Airport, Toronto, Canada.

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, Texas.

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images


Liszt Ferenc Airport, Budapest, Hungary.

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, China

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, N.J.

Photo: Mel Evans/AP


Mascot Airport, Sydney, Australia.

Photo: John Donegan/AP


World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP


Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Photo: Peter Dejong/AP


Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan.

Photo: Koji Sasahara/AP


Dulles International Airport, Washington, in 1976.

Photo: AP


Edinburgh Airport, Scotland.

Photo: Herry Lawford


Farnborough Airport, England.

Photo: Steve Parker


Arlanda Airport, Sweden.

Photo: Carles Tomás Martí


Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP