Albert J. Ellis Airport to get air traffic control tower


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - Albert J. Ellis airport is taking off on a new endeavor - building a six-story high air traffic control tower.

Airport Director Christopher White said this is one of the busiest airports in the country that doesn't have a tower. According to the Onslow County Board of Commissioners agenda, building an air traffic control tower will enhance safety, increase efficiency and encourage more and larger aircraft to use the airport. More aircraft could also potentially bring an economic boost to Onslow County.board documents show the airport's current economic impact is near $237,000,000- a number that will likely grow as a result of this project. But needs the green light from commissioners. Monday evening - the Onslow Board of Commissioners will vote on several amendments to the project - including approval of the funding. The meeting's agenda says grants and passenger facility charges will cover payment for construction of the tower.

That means no local tax dollars will be used for the project - which, according to the board's agenda, will cost a total of $2,450,000. The Airport Director said they've been working on this project for about nine years - they expect construction to be completed in 2018.

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