Onslow Commissioners approve construction bid for air traffic control tower at OAJ airport

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ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Albert J. Ellis Airport is fulfilling a redevelopment plan nine years in the making.

One of the last steps to approve construction of an Air Traffic Control Tower was approved by the Onslow County Board of Commissioners Monday night.

Airport officials say the tower will create safety and efficiency.

“It will open up the door for airlines to bring in potentially larger aircraft,” Chris White, OAJ director, said. “It will also allow some corporations that don’t currently base aircraft at the airport to move their aircraft here.”

The improvements will only help grow the airport and its impact. It already creates 370 jobs and $236 million per year in economic revenue

Monday night, the board of commissioners awarded the construction contract to Daniels and Daniels Construction for $4,991,655. Commissioners also awarded a concession agreement.

“To a local operator who will bring a national brand to the airport as well as a larger variety of food offerings, a full-service bar and other amenities,” White said.

Many OAJ passengers are Marines who say they’re pleased with the forward thinking.

No local tax dollars will be used for the construction.

This project is funded by NC Department of Transportation Division of Aviation grants in the amount of $2,450,000, a $2,000,000 FAA entitlement grant and Passenger Facility Charges (PFC user fees) $1,343,200.

They hope to have construction completed by late summer 2018.

Commissioners also approved several project closeouts related to the airport, including the 2013 project to refurbish the airport’s rotating beacon, the 2014 project to design and install a replacement to the FAA’s weather observation system (AWOS), and a 2013 project to improve pavement for aircraft parking.

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