Federal spending cuts could impact local airports
Mon, 25 Feb 2013 22:53:45 GMT —
The Federal Aviation Administration says air traffic control towers at the Florence Regional Airport , Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach, Donaldson Center in Greenville and Hilton Head Airport could shutdown due to budget cuts.
According to the FAA's website, it's making plans to reduce its spending by $600 for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year.
The FAA says more than 100 air traffic control facilities could close.
Florence Regional Airport Director Eddie Gunn says he hasn't heard anything for sure just yet and is patiently waiting.
"We're uncertain as to the impact right now. We're certainly hoping our political leaders can come to an agreement that can spare airports and travelers hardship in the future," Gunn added.
Gunn says the good news is that they don't anticipate any interruption of service.
"We have plans to allow us to continue to operate the airport even if the FAA does take a budget cut. We'll continue to operate the airport as we have for the last 65 years."
He explained if the air traffic control tower were to close at the Florence Regional Airport, it wouldn't impact the safety of travelers.
"Your air traffic control towers are not manned 24 hours a day in all locations. Even the one in Florence is not manned 24 hours a day. So we have flights that originate and land at this airport when the tower is not operational. That means that another tower in another city perhaps a larger facility is handling that air traffic needs so the public is safety is of the upmost concern."
The FAA says other changes pending budget cuts include furloughing the vast majority of its 47,000 employees for approximately one day per pay period, eliminating the overnight shift at over 60 facilities and reducing preventive maintenance and support for all air traffic control equipment.