JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) —After eight years of planning, Onslow County broke ground Wednesday on its first airport air traffic control tower.
The tower will be located behind the Albert J. Ellis airport.
The new tower will feature a six-story facility to help direct air traffic coming in and out of the airport.
The airport’s director said it will increase the safety of aircraft operations, while also positively benefiting the local economy.
The airport brings in nearly $240 million annually.
“The whole community is growing so quickly and so fast that you’re going to have to have that product brought in,” said Onlsow County Commissioner Paul Buchanan. “So the more you have cargo aircraft,and then with the towers helping with that cargo aircraft, it’s going to make it a lot easier to get in and out of here.”
Construction is expected to last one year and cost around $4.5 million.
Once finished, FAA certified controllers are expected to work in the tower.