Tower controllers are responsible for maintaining separation between aircraft and expediting the flow of traffic in the air. On the airport surface, they also are responsible for maintaining safe separation between aircraft, ground equipment, and personnel. They do this by sequencing departing and arriving aircraft, and controlling the location and movement of aircraft, vehicles, equipment, and personnel on the airport surface. The local controller and ground controller are responsible for determining aircraft location and intent, and for ensuring that aircraft, vehicles, and other surface objects maintain a safe separation distance. During nighttime or poor visibility conditions, controllers' situation awareness is significantly degraded, resulting in lower safety margins and increased errors. Safety and throughput can be increased by using an Enhanced Vision System, based upon state-of-the-art infrared sensor technology, to restore critical visual cues. We discuss the results of an analysis of tower controller critical visual tasks and information requirements. The analysis identified: representative classes of ground obstacles/targets (e.g., aircraft, vehicles, wildlife); sample airport layouts and tower-to-runway distances; and obstacle subtended visual angles. We performed NVTherm modeling of candidate sensors and field data collections. This resulted in the identification of design factors for an airport surface surveillance Enhanced Vision System.