After nearly a decade of planning, Onslow County Commissioners broke ground on an air traffic control tower at the Albert J. Ellis Airport. Jared Brumbaugh has more.
The $4.5 million project includes the construction of a 90-foot tower to manage air traffic arriving and departing from the County operated commercial service airport. $2.4 million in grants were awarded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation. Once completed in late 2018, the six story facility will be staffed by FAA-certified air traffic controllers. Local controllers will coordinate air traffic between towers at New River, Wilmington, Cherry Point, Seymour Johnson, New Bern as well as the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center. Ellis Airport serves 300,000 passengers annually and employs 370 jobs. It’s one of the busiest commercial airports in the United States without its own air traffic control tower.