Bay TRACON (Terminal RADAR Approach Control) was initially opened as a facility in October of 1967 on the second floor of the Oakland Airport terminal one building. The concept of this facility was to combine the approach control functions of three existing terminal RADAR facilities located in the Bay Area. Included in this consolidation of facilities were San Francisco, Oakland and NAS Moffett approach controls. At the time of the initial consolidation three separate terminal RADAR systems were in use, one at Oakland, San Francisco and NAS Moffett airports. The San Francisco equipment was not used in the new facility because of it's limitation with regard to aircraft with transponder capabilities.
The new facility opted for using horizontal displays for economical and coordination reasons. The new displays were also designed to operate in a lighted room, unlike many of the existing dark RADAR rooms environments. Approximately 40 controllers and 18 supervisors/staff comprised the initial personnel complement. The original Bay TRACON opened with eight RADAR positions providing air traffic service to the entire Bay Area. Included were services to San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, NAS Alameda, NAS Moffett, Crissy AAF, Hayward, Palo Alto, Reid Hillview, San Carlos, Half Moon Bay, Livermore, South County, Fremont and Skysailing airports.
In 1974 a new building was constructed for Bay TRACON on the Oakland Airport North Field. The new facility consisted of the new automated RADAR equipment (ARTS IIIA) and utilized a dark control room environment. Horizontal displays were again utilized for economic and coordination reasons. Bay TRACON's traffic count has placed Bay in the top 5 or 6 facilities in the nation for many years. The airport geographic layout has made Bay one of the most difficult air traffic facilities in the world with regard to complexity in accomplishing the required day to day operations.
Bay TRACON is scheduled to combine with several other Northern California air traffic facilities at a location near Sacramento to form a large combined terminal facility named Northern California TRACON (NCT). This new facility scheduled to open in 2002 will have terminal approach control responsibilities for a large portion of Northern California.
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