News

Sequestration could close airport control towers in midstate

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Mar 8, 2013 10:55 AM
capital city airport.jpg

Photo by Craig Layne/witf

Control tower at Capital City Airport in August, 2011

(Undated) -- Three midstate airport control towers could be closed under federal spending cuts, and sequestration could also lead to less staffing at the region's main international airport.

Harrisburg International Airport is on the Federal Aviation Administration's list of air traffic control facilities where overnight shifts could be eliminated under the sequester.

AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Jenny Robinson says cutbacks also target the Allentown, Allegheny and Wilkes-Barre airports and that could have an affect on travelers.

"Those are pretty big facilities," Robinson says. "However, keep in mind that some airports already do not have anyone working the overnight shift, and there are some air carriers that really would rather not schedule a flight at times when there is no one staffing the tower."

Under the proposed cuts, the towers at Captial City Airport, Lancaster Airport and Reading Regional Airport will not be staffed, beginning April 7.

The FAA has added them to a list of 170 possible airports towers closures.

The change would mean pilots would have to communicate among themselves when flying into and out of the airfields.

AAA says sequestration could also cause delays at airport security and for travelers getting passports.

Republican Congressman Joe Pitts of Lancaster County says the threat of closures is a political move to inflate the impact of the sequestration cuts.

He says a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee analysis shows the FAA could absorb its share of the sequester through a hiring freeze and other strategies without closing towers.

Published in Cumberland County, Harrisburg, Lancaster, News, York

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Comments: 1

  • JJ Johnson img 2013-03-09 10:41

    We Need your help:
    To Prevent the closure of air traffic control towers in the U.S.A. as a result of the Budget Control Act – Sequestration. Please sign this petition, thank you!!!
    http://wh.gov/GCng

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