FAA To Postpone Air Traffic Control Towers

Picente urges FAA to take closer look at Griffiss Tower

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers until June 15. Last month, the FAA announced it would eliminate funding for these towers as part of the agency’s required $637 million budget cuts under sequestration according to the FAA.

County Executive Picente said “This is a welcome delay. However, the FAA and the Department of Transportation should not turn this delay into a missed opportunity. I urge Mr. Huerta and the FAA to take a close look at the Control Tower at Griffiss.”

On March 22, the FAA announced that it would stop federal funding for 149 contract towers across the country. A phased, four-week closure process was scheduled to begin this Sunday, April 7. That phased closure process will no longer occur. Instead, the FAA will stop funding all 149 towers on June 15 and will close the facilities unless the airports decide to continue operations as a nonfederal contract tower according to the US DOT.

Picente went on to say “Secretary LaHood has said the top priority here is safety. Griffiss continues to be essential to this country’s National Security. If security is the top priority then that should be reason alone to continue funding this tower. This is also a unique airport handling everything from jumbo jets to military aircraft to private corporate jets. A Control Tower is essential to the safety of everyone involved.”