...With More Towers, More Radar, More Runways...

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Mineta said the FAA already has set in motion plans to build seven new air traffic control towers, five new terminal air traffic control facilities, and new advanced radar systems at 12 airports, and to install the STARS air traffic control system at 14 airports. He added that seven airports are building new runways and four major hub airports -- Boston, Charlotte, Denver and Minneapolis -- will be getting advanced weather satellite/radar systems to minimize weather-related delays for commercial travelers. "We must develop a system based on 21st century technology that will help reduce future air traffic delays, improve airport management and maximize the safety and efficiency of our nation's aviation system," he said. Mineta warned that passenger demand for air travel is on the rise, and gridlock in the skies is a real possibility. "I've challenged my department to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote technology that will offer added capacity to relieve congestion, while supporting a strong commercial capability, facilitating private-sector expansion and creating jobs," Mineta said.