NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Spirits are flying high at LaGuardia Airport after the opening of the new air traffic control tower.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

The $100 million tower opened this week and so far controllers are giving two thumbs up.

“It’s hard to keep up with the maintenance and the repair of the old tower. This provides us greater visibility of the airport surface and the surrounding air space, it provides more room for controllers to move about and work, and it also provides more room for new technology and the latest equipment,” Bill McLoughlin, head of the Air Traffic Controllers Association, said.

The tower is expected to help the airport handle traffic more quickly. Its new ground based radar can help controllers identify each plane’s position and enhance safety, especially in tough weather.

“In the old days when you couldn’t see out the window more than a quarter of a mile, you had to rely on memory, position reporting from pilots and paper flight progress strips,” McLoughlin said. “Now with this information, we can take a glance at our radar display and it’s almost like a virtual window to the airport.”

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