TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More people are traveling to Tampa, in fact, Sunday alone, more than 90,000 passengers were screened by the TSA, that’s the most ever.
In recent years. the airport has undergone many improvements, but there’s one structure that has not, the air traffic control tower.
On Monday, airport officials learned the airport’s deteriorating air traffic control tower could be getting federal funding so it can be replaced. The money is included in President Joe Biden’s proposed budget.
TPA has one of the oldest air traffic control towers in the nation.
“It has served us well for over 50 years,” said Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor.
Castor said she has been fighting for years to get the tower replaced.
Jen McCoy, an air traffic controller who works there, agrees the tower is in rough shape.
“We’ve had all sorts of issues with plumbing, sewage fumes electrical elevator outages, your name it, we’ve had it,” said McCoy.
While the airport has undergone a number of improvements in recent years, the tower is controlled and funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Castor said she finally got the issue on President Biden’s radar during his recent visit to Tampa.
“President Biden, to his credit, he took my packet, and before we had landed back here in Tampa, he said Kathy, I’m gonna take care of this,” Castor said.
During a news conference Monday, Castor announced that the president has included the funding in his newly proposed budget.
Biden is asking lawmakers to approve millions to replace FAA facilities, including the tower at TPA.
“As you can imagine it’s very busy and very complex in there, and you know, we just believe that the controllers need to be in an environment that is that enables them to focus on the job at hand,” said McCoy.