CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Construction is well underway for a brand new air traffic control tower at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.
It will be twice as tall as the existing tower. In fact, it will be the second tallest in the country, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
"This will ensure our air traffic controllers have a clear line of sight to all areas of the runways and taxiways. It will also give clear lines of sight to new runways planned for the coming decades," Mike Whitaker, FAA Deputy Administrator, said.
FOX 46 Charlotte spoke with travelers who welcome the improvements.
"I don't travel as much, but when I do, I want to make sure I am safe. Every time we take off and land, I say the Our Father prayer. Having eyes in the sky for our huge airport is key for the safety for all people," Dannett Simpson, a traveler at Charlotte, said.
"I think it's great. This is our airport. This is where we fly in and out of. We live closer to Greenville, but there are fewer flights and more expensive. Charlotte's our home airport," Stuart Goldstein, a traveler, said.
The new tower will be up and running by the year 2020, but other new technology will be going into effect sometime this year.
"The controllers in Charlotte will be able to use data com capability to send departure instructions to pilots over text message form instead of over the radio," Whitaker with the FAA said.
The passengers we spoke with say they're not so comfortable with that.
"Little mixed feelings there. There's always going to be some reason why technology may fail, just like the radio might fail. I'm not sure I’m good with that," Simpson said.
"If it's not hackable, it's great. I think the biggest worry going into new technology is what the security is like," Goldstein said.