SUBURBAN WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The new control tower at Palm Beach International Airport stands 231-feet tall and cost 18-million dollars to build. It's a massive tower, with a clear view of the runways.
It will replace the old tower that's been at the airport since it opened in the 1940s.
But something is missing in the new tower-- equipment and people. The state-of-the-art building has been empty for 10-months.
Travelers like Joe Tamburo say the idea is puzzling. "Why would you build something if you're not going to use it right away?" says Tamburo.
The reason it's not being used, is that the FAA hasn't decided whether Palm Beach International or Miami International will get a new high-tech tracking system known as "Tracon."
Aviation expert David Bjellos says, "If they install the new technology that means that the people that are here won't have to be transferred to Miami."
Where the 'Tracon' goes determines what type of radar system will go into the new tower.
For travelers like Joan McAuley the old tower is just fine. "I think what we had was sufficient, I don't think they needed to spend that kind of money."
Controllers at PBIA are worried they might have to move to Miami, depending on any final decision.
But nobody can say when that decision will be made.
So until then this new, multi-million dollar tower will remain empty.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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