A Report By Andy Payne
Last Friday, January 3rd, 2017, SFO hosted their monthly spotter meet-up at a unique location - the (now former) Air Traffic Control Tower above Terminal 2. Every guest was limited to thirty minutes in the cab (it was more of 20) but the experience was well worth it.
The control tower was built in 1983 and located right behind the original 1954 control tower (now called the Shadow Tower and used for certain ground ops).
Last year it was replaced by a newer, taller tower located between Terminals 1 and 2. However now the tower makes a blind spot between Taxiway Delta and the 28s and will have to be demolished along with the Shadow Tower and some upper floors.
On January 27, SFO, announced via social media the SFO Monthly Plane Spotter Meet-up for February which was in the soon to be demolished ATC Tower, giving an impressive view with a catch: everyone could only reserve one ticket for one 30 minute period. Five minutes were taken each way taking two elevators, stairs, and walking through hallways to and from ground level and the Tower Cab, leaving twenty minutes up in the tower.
As you can see, all electronics were removed and what remained were wires and piles of boards. Below the boards were old Flight Progress Strips and General Information strips. I picked up as many as I could (Got to walk away with something, for it's all going anyways!) which was a bit over 30.
(This is just a sample; the next photo update will consist of Tower shots)