The Duluth International Airport desperately needs a new air traffic control tower. How bad could it be? Well, this tower is over 70 years old, and it's actually the third oldest tower for airports in the entire country. Yikes.

The current air traffic control tower is over 70 years old.

The current tower was constructed in the 1950s. Since its construction, the airport has expanded and traffic has grown exponentially. Airport executives and politicians have been lobbying for funds to build a new tower to improve safety. A new tower is essential to air traffic control services and a modern facility is needed.

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$10 million dollar grant has been awarded.

The Duluth Airport Authority has been awarded a 10 million dollar grant under the Federal Aviation Administration airport terminal Program. It's the 5th largest funding amount granted for an air traffic control tower project in the county for this cycle.

$10 million is a lot of money, but the total cost is estimated to be 66 million dollars. More funding will be required according to the Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority.

“We appreciate the support from our Congressional Delegation and the work of the entire legislative team in securing this highly competitive funding. The grant is a great start, and we look forward to securing future grants to complete this project. Said Tom Werner, Executive Director of the Duluth Airport Authority.

Tower upgrades are also needed to support the 148th Fighter Wing.

The Duluth Airport is home to the Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing. For future sustainability and to keep the air guard in Duluth, a new tower is a must for future next-generation aircraft.

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The Duluth Airport Authority will be requesting $14 million in matching funds from the State of Minnesota again this session.

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Gallery Credit: Jeanne Ryan