By MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune Public Affairs
Aviation officials are touting an agreement that will give Cherry Point air traffic control an expanded role in the skies of Eastern North Carolina.
The Federal Aviation Administration plans to transfer airspace management and other air traffic control duties to Cherry Point from its Washington Center on Thursday, according to a release from Marine Corps Installations East at Camp Lejeune.
The change is designed to improve coordination and communication among civilian and military pilots while also easing the burden on air traffic controllers, according to the release.
Cherry Point will now have air traffic control service over civilian airports in Plymouth, Washington, Manteo and Kitty Hawk as well as two bombing ranges in Dare County.
The switch will result in real-time information going to military pilots in special-use airspace and provide improved service over the Albemarle Sound and Roanoke Island, according to the release.
“Airspace is a precious resource and improvements such as these will greatly benefit aviation and commerce in this region of the state,” Bobby Walston, director of the N.C. Division of Aviation, said in a statement. “This transfer has been a goal of the state and our military partners for some time and we are extremely excited to see this transfer of management and services take place.”
The switch also will make training airspace available on demand over Cherry Point, easing the burden of trying to coordinate with the Washington Center, according to the release.
Information on the change, including Cherry Point air control radio frequencies, is to be sent to pilots and aviation publications, according to the release.
Nat Fahy, Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Lejeune, said the switch would not result in any additional personnel at Cherry Point’s air traffic control tower.