ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Asheville Regional Airport is gearing up to replace its 62-year-old air traffic control tower. 

The airport and the Federal Aviation Administration are partnering to replace the air traffic control tower, which is one of the oldest in the country, according to the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority. The project broke ground Wednesday afternoon.

AVL and 85 other airports received grants from the Biden administration to improve airport terminals across the U.S. According to the FAA, $15 million in grants will go toward replacing AVL's tower, which is projected to cost a total of $55 million.

“Control towers are iconic and vastly important to the nation's aviation system key infrastructure that allows aviation of all kinds to operate safely and efficiently," airport authority president and CEO Lew Bleiweis said Wednesday in a news release.

Once the new tower is complete, the old tower will be demolished to make room for expansion at the airport terminal. 

The new tower was designed by architects at Pond and Co. and will be constructed by J. Kokolakis Construction; the project is expected to be complete in 2025.

The airport serves numerous passengers and has become the third-busiest in the state, according to Bleiweis.