GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — What started as a Navy aircraft training field back in 1941 is now the Gulf Shores International Airport at Jack Edwards Field. A new era in aviation is taking off in Gulf Shores, starting with the installment of a new air traffic control tower.
The new air traffic control tower was unveiled Nov. 11 followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and speeches from project members.
Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft believes that the improvements were greatly needed.
“It’s been an under-performing asset of the city for a long period of time,” said Craft. “We knew it had great potential but we had to get here.”
The tower is the first phase of a larger plan to revitalize the airport.
The construction of a new terminal is the second phase of the project. The terminal could be open by this time next year, but this depends on whether or not a nationally-known air carrier agrees to operate at the airport, according to Airport Authority Manager Scott Fuller.
“We do have an airline, in particular, that would like to start in May. If that happens it will be in a temporary facility not in the permanent terminal but if that’s what they want to do and can come up with a plan we’d be glad to have to have em,” said Fuller.
The future of the airport has never looked better with the potential of making the area not just busy during the summer, but a year-round destination.
Gulf Shores resident Anita Booth toured the new tower and she is excited about the upcoming changes.
“It’s going to be wonderful for Gulf Shores, Orange Beach,” said Booth.