FAA is closing 149 towers across the country
The sequester is hitting small airports across the country and two here in the Houston area.
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will close 149 air traffic control towers in small airports across the country. Those closures will begin April 7. Included in the closures is the tower at Sugar Land airport.
Doug Adolph with Sugar Land says pilots will have to organize take offs and landings among themselves, "we are looking at a number of different scenarios, that include operating an airport without a tower or come up with the $800,000 needed to fund a tower ourselves."
In all 13 airports in Texas will have their towers closed. The closures will not force the shutdown of any of those airports, but pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.
Adolph says there is another big concern, "...we haven't heard from the FAA whether or not they will let us use their radar equipment."
All of the airports targeted for tower shutdowns have fewer than 150,000 total flight operations per year. Of those, fewer than 10,000 are commercial flights by passenger airlines.