I was at KORD this week for the first time in decades. I spotted 4 control towers (two near the terminals, and one at each end—and I am not sure if I got them all). I was not counting the short ones, obviously for gate control.

What is the division of labor?

Is it anything like KDFW?

#1 #2 #3 #4

I was not counting enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are four on the airport diagram. There are 4 physical towers of an ATC variety. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2016 at 18:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Google map (3D): 1st image (T2/Hilton) = Old TWR, now used for coordination --- 2nd image (T2/T3) = Center TWR --- 3rd image (DLH Cargo) = South TWR --- 4th image (AAL) = North TWR. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 25, 2016 at 7:02
  • $\begingroup$ Some interesting information about airport configuration, control and radio communications, by CARMA. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 25, 2016 at 7:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Very much related: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/2070/… $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2016 at 7:18

1 Answer 1


As mins pointed out, the four towers you are asking about:

  1. Old tower, no direct responsibility
  2. Center tower
  3. South tower
  4. North tower

The airport directory (accessible from AirNav) breaks out the different tower and ground frequencies.

  • TWR N - 9L/27R
  • TWR C - All others
  • TWR S - 10R/28L

This makes sense, as the north and south towers shown on the AD are really only close to those applicable runways. The center tower is located where it can handle the rest. The old tower is not labeled.

The ground control is also split between the towers. I couldn't find a good reference for the division of responsibility there, but I would imagine that it would be similar to that of the towers, only controlling the taxiways associated with those runways, which are hard to see from the center tower.


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