31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

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.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Ed Wray/AP


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

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Vincent Thian/AP


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

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: David Goldman/AP


John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Manchester Airport, Manchester, England

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images


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

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images


Los Angles International Airport (LAX), California.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images


Opa-locka Executive Airport, Florida.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images


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

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images


Gatwick Airport, London, England.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


Berlin Tegel Airport, Berlin, Germany.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images


O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images


Willy Brandt Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, Berlin, Germany.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images


Airport Madrid-Barajas, Madrid, Spain.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images


Brussels National Airport, Steenokkerzeel, Brussels, Belgium.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Mark Renders/Getty Images


Lester B. Pearson Airport, Toronto, Canada.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images


Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, Texas.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images


Liszt Ferenc Airport, Budapest, Hungary.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Shanghai, China

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo


Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, N.J.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Mel Evans/AP


Mascot Airport, Sydney, Australia.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: John Donegan/AP


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

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP


Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Peter Dejong/AP


Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Koji Sasahara/AP


Dulles International Airport, Washington, in 1976.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: AP


Edinburgh Airport, Scotland.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Herry Lawford


Farnborough Airport, England.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Steve Parker


Arlanda Airport, Sweden.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Carles Tomás Martí


Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

31 Air Traffic Control Towers With Surprising Charm

Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP