MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Many people are making plans to fly over the holidays, and leaders at the Minot airport say they’re in need of an upgrade.

The Minot airport’s current air traffic control tower was built in 1976, and at the time was state of the art.

But 40 years later, it is currently outdated and is in need of a facelift.

“It is also a little short for its current location because of the new terminal building, there are some visibility sight line issues with its current location and the height of it,” said Minot International Airport Director, Jennifer Eckman.

In order for the airport to make these upgrades, the FAA needs to conduct studies, and Eckman says that takes time.

If Minot International Airport can get the new air traffic control tower on the capital improvement plan, the ideal time frame would be within the next five to 10 years.

“In order to work on the planning of a new tower and the location. The location has kind of already been set, but there need to be some air space studies done by the FAA,” added Eckman.

The airport is planning to replace the current tower with a new one on the north side of the airport.

Administrators at the airport say the future plans of a new air traffic control tower will ensure that their passengers, pilots, and airport staff will enter and leave the airport much more efficiently.

“If we have a new air traffic control tower, we can build it more appropriately sized for our current needs, so that it can see all the ends of the runway, it can see all of the ramps areas and things like that,” said Eckman.

The current tower does not have a radar system, so approach controls are handled out of Rapid City.

If a new tower is awarded to Minot International, they will be able to handle approach controls themselves.

So far, it’s unclear how much the new tower would cost or how to pay for it.

Right now, the Minot airport is home to three carriers, Delta, United, and Allegiant.