March 28, 2013
County Executive Picente Announces Intentions To Keep Griffiss Tower Open
County Executive Picente announced today he is actively pursuing options allowing the Griffiss International Airport Tower to remain open for business. On March 22nd the FAA announced it would close the FAA Control Tower at Griffiss Airport due to automatic budget cuts that were triggered by sequestration.
Picente met with his airport team as well as the major tenants at Griffiss to discuss every option to secure a seamless transition from an FAA Control Tower to a Control Tower that remains open without federal funding.
“I have met with our partners at the Airport and discussed the best options moving forward. While some partners are more directly affected than others, we all agreed that the tower closure was not in the best interest of the airport and our community. We have discussed every available option and I have directed my staff to move forward to guarantee the most affordable possibility that will result in a seamless transition.” Picente said.
The Griffiss air traffic control service contract is scheduled for termination in the late April time frame barring any modification by the FAA. County Executive Picente and Congressman Hanna as well as others went through the appeal process with the FAA to highlight the apparent affect to national interest closing the tower would have. The appeal was denied by the FAA.
County Executive Picente went on to say “What Washington has done with Sequestration is not a cost savings but a cost shift. They haven’t saved the taxpayer a dime. They haven’t looked for one real way to save the taxpayer money. The Tower is essential, so they cut funding and now we have to pay for it.”