Lakeland Linder Airport opens new control tower

- Lakeland is stepping into a new era thanks to its airport. On Thursday, a brand new air traffic control tower opened, just in time for Sun 'N Fun, the second biggest fly-in of its kind in the world.

"Let's put it bluntly, it doubles the level of safety," Sun 'N Fun president John "Lites" Leenhouts said.

The new tower is three times as high as the old one, so air traffic controllers can see twice as far.

Along with increasing safety, airport officials say the tower will help increase Lakeland Linder's profile in the aviation community.

The tower may help the airport lure NOAA storm chasers, who are looking to relocate from Mac Dill Air Force Base.

The airport has also been looking for a commercial carrier to settle there for years. The new tower may also help accomplish that.

Sun 'N Fun starts April 5.

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