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Congress members push for new CLT control tower

Officials have been saying for years that Charlotte Douglas International Airport needs a new control tower, and members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation are pushing the Federal Aviation Administration to speed its construction.

Congressman Robert Pittenger, a Republican, sent the letter, which was also signed by six other members of the delegation.

The new tower would be 370 feet tall, and would be located south of the terminal. It would replace the 155-foot tall tower, which opened in 1979. The new tower is needed to accommodate increased traffic and see planes across the entire airfield.

“Built over 30 years ago, the tower’s limited height, size and location will not allow for maximum utilization of the third parallel runway commissioned in 2010,” wrote Pittenger.

The FAA has agreed to fund the $40 million tower, with a 2019 opening. But Pittenger and Charlotte officials want the FAA to agree to an unconventional funding arrangement, in which Charlotte would front the money to build the tower and open it in 2017. Then the FAA would buy the tower from Charlotte Douglas in 2019.

Portillo: 704-358-5041; Twitter: @ESPortillo
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