Wellington's new air traffic control tower will pay homage to the capital's reputation as a windy city.

Airways New Zealand has lodged a resource consent application with the Wellington City Council to build a new air traffic control tower for Wellington Airport with a 12.5 degree lean, which is greater than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Wellington aiport tower to lean into wind1

The tower is moving from its existing site among houses on Tirangi Road, Rongotai, to the carpark at an industrial park on airport land at Lyall Bay.

The proposed tower is designed to appear to be leaning into Wellington’s prevailing northerly wind, says Pauline Lamb, Airways New Zealand’s chief operating officer.

“With a nod to Wellington’s famous breeze, this tower combines a super strong and safe structure with excellent functionality and stunning urban design,” she said.

Airways commissioned Wellington-based architecture firm Studio of Pacific Architecture to design the 32m-high tower. It is reported to cost $18 million.

Subject to obtaining resource consent, construction will start in November 2015.

Mayors in the Wellington region earlier approved in principle funding support for a 350m extension of the runway of the airport, which is two-thirds owned by NZX-listed Infratil and a third owned by Wellington City Council.

The regional mayoral forum agreed to fund up to $150 million of the $300m project.

The extension is controversial and resource consent applications for it are yet to be lodged while the government said any backing for the project will depend on there being national benefit.