KEYE-TV - Search Results
Central Texas Airports Fighting For FAA Funding
Staffing for 189 airport control towers are on the chopping block.
Every time a pilot gets into a plane, the first thing he does is call the tower and get permission to taxi, without that, they're on their own.
Everyday more than 200 airplanes arrive and depart from the Georgetown Municipal Airport. They do it with the help of air traffic controllers but that could change.
The Georgetown Municipal Airport is among 189 airports that could lose their FAA funding that pays for their air traffic controllers.
Airport Manager Sarah Hinton is not going down without a fight. "We filed an exemption with the FAA, they gave us a chance to come back and give them reasons why our airport should be allowed to be exempt from the closures," says Hinton.
But the reasons had to have a national impact. Hinton says, "The Georgetown airport is the first FAA reliever airport to the north and so having closed that, you have a 110-mile radius to the north of Bergstrom that is not covered."
The FAA says they will notify airports whether they are exempt from the federal funding cuts on Friday.
Beth Jenkins is President of Pilots Choice Aviation located at the Georgetown Municipal Airport. She says, "We're all calling our congressmen and senators and trying to do what we can to keep this airport open."
She says while being the reliever airport is important, safety is also a concern. Jenkins says, "It's such a mix of aircraft, its important when you have the control tower to help keep that mix flowing smooth."
Other airports facing cuts include San Marcos and New Braunfels.
By Lydia Pantazes