Updated: 3/06 10:35 pm
FAA Closing Air Traffic Control Towers
Tuesday the Federal Aviation Administration announced its plans to close 173 air traffic control towers next month, and Victoria Regional Airport is on that list. The closure would cut jobs, and cost the airport thousands of dollars in lost business but Victoria county leaders could be flying in to help save the day.
Victoria Regional Airport manager Jason Milewski said in 2008 a study conducted by the FAA determined that there was a need for an air traffic control tower at the Victoria Regional Airport and they qualified for the federally funded program. However, since the across the board federal budget cuts that took effect Friday, they are getting rid of that program, which is causing the tower in Victoria and 172 other air traffic control towers at small and medium size airports to close by April 7th.
Milewski said since they got the tower their traffic has increased dramatically, and without it they're sure to lose military and corporate traffic that require a tower. The airport officials don't have to do everything alone, county officials have agreed to step in and help. County Judge Donald Pozzi said there's no way they can let the tower close and funding options haven't been discussed yet but they are going to explore all options. Milewski said they estimate the tower would cost have a million dollars a year to run but there having trouble finding an exact amount.
Airport officials said if the tower does close, travelers won’t see a change in flights because the airport can operate without one, but they hope it doesn't come to that.
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