Friday, April 05, 2013

Control towers stay open -- but it's not about safety: Opinion

Posted:   04/05/2013 03:13:43 PM PDT
Updated:   04/05/2013 04:33:55 PM PDT

The Obama administration announced today it is delaying the budget-related closures of 149 airport control towers -- eight of them in Southern California -- some of which were scheduled to take effect Sunday.

Note that the reason is not a concern about safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is delaying the closures until June 15 to allow time to deal with a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington by trade groups representing companies the
Federal Aviation Administration contracts with to operate the towers, and to consider requests by about 50 airport operators and communities to pay for their towers to stay open.

As an editorial here pointed out, removing air traffic controllers from some airports should not cause safety issues. Of the approximately 5,000 airports in the United States, only about 500 have control towers. Pilots know how to communicate with each other by radio to coordinate takeoffs and landings.

Airfields in Pacoima, Lancaster, Oxnard and Riverside are among those scheduled to close, part of FAA cutbacks forced by sequestration budget trims.

-- Opinion staff 


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