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Mesa’s Falcon Field unveils photo on its ‘coolest air traffic control tower’

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX – It was a technical challenge, but Mesa’s Falcon Field figured out how to blow up a 3-inch 1940s photo into a 38-foot-high mural on the side of its air traffic control tower.

The finished work was unveiled during a ceremony Monday celebrating the installation of 10 historical photos around the airfield.

“We’re fortunate that we have a number of photographs that were taken here during World War II … so what we’ve done is decided to dress up parts of the airport with wraps of some of those photographs just to show people what a great history this airport had,” Corinne Nystrom, Falcon Field director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The centerpiece is the towering image of cadet pilot Oswaldo Interiano, the creation of which required hours of computer processing and expertise from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Grand Canyon University and other digital photo specialists.

“I’m proud that Mesa, Arizona, now has officially the coolest air traffic control tower of any airport anywhere,” Mayor John Giles told KTAR News.

The final product was printed out in sections on a sticky vinyl material and applied to the tower.

Monday’s dedication included flyovers by World War II-era aircraft.

Most of the photos are visible from the roads surrounding Falcon Field, which is bounded by McDowell Road on the north, Recker Road on the east, McKellips Road on the south and Greenfield Road on the west.

The tower image and two nearby photos can be seen from the public viewing area on the east side of the airport terminal building and from the shaded area at the back of the building. The areas are accessible during business hours, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Giles said Falcon Field has an economic impact “in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”

“But it’s also important that we remember that this is not just a great airport, it’s a great airport with a great history and a great story,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Peter Samore contributed to this report.

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