According to an announcement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made on Friday, April 5th, 2013, closures of many contract airport control towers across the U.S. are being delayed. Beginning on Sunday, April, 7th, 2013, some towers were expected to shut down. A tower in San Diego was scheduled to close on May 5th, and one in Lancaster was scheduled to shut down on April 21st. Traffic control towers in Fullerton, Pacoima, Ramona, and Riverside will also remain in operation longer now than was expected.
Courtesy of CBS 8 KFMB-TV, the FAA proposed closing almost 200 towers across the country, including the control tower at Hawthorne Municipal Airport. The decision to close the Hawthorne facility was reversed because the FAA decided closing the tower would have a negative impact on the national interest. The closings are needed to meet required cuts of $637 million mandated under budget sequestration. Closures have been delayed until June 15, 2013.
Some airport authorities across the country have informed the FAA that they have plans to fund airport control towers themselves rather than allowing them to close. The delay would give those local airport authorities time to make those plans final. There have also been legal challenges to the closings, and the agency will have some time to attempt to resolve some of those prior to the June 15th deadline.
Time is also needed to make certain pilots understand the changes that will occur at their local airports.
Aviation safety must be a top priority because when aviation accidents do occur, the results are usually fatal. If you have lost a loved one in a plane or helicopter crash, our San Diego injury attorneys at the firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP are well qualified to investigate all possible causes of the crash including poor performance from air traffic controllers or pilots, poor maintenance, etc. Call us at (619) 814-9000 for a no-cost consultation.