Saturday, March 03, 2018

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (KBZN) to boost tower hours, add new tower controller

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport will add one tower controller and more tower hours to handle the growing airline traffic, Gallatin Airport Authority officials said in a news release this week.

“Despite repeated attempts to have the FAA fund tower staffing at levels comparable to other commercial airports our size — handling over 1.2 million passengers annually — the FAA continues to deny additional tower staffing,” officials said in the release.

Adding a controller will bring continuous tower coverage from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., compared to the current hours of 6 a.m. to midnight.

The local investment is par for the course, officials said, with the Gallatin Airport Authority chipping in $7 million in projects over two decades. The board funded the tower construction, radar, tower display, additional air traffic control hours and tower maintenance.

“While we are frustrated the FAA does not treat airports of similar size and nature equally, we are pleased that our Airport Board continues to invest in air traffic control services and equipment to ensure ... air traffic control performs at the safest and most efficient levels,” Airport Director Brian Sprenger said in the release.

Passenger levels are predicted to be 10 percent higher this summer compared to previous years. The additional controller is expected to be fully trained and certified by this summer.

Original article ➤

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