The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday the contract control towers at Tacoma Narrows Airport and 148 other airports will remain open until Sept. 30, the end of the federal government’s fiscal year 2013.
The towers had been slated to close June 15 as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implements budget cuts under the congressional directive known as sequestration.
“This is great news for the customers of our popular airport,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. She noted Pierce County has not received information regarding the status of the towers beyond Sept. 30. “We continue to work with the FAA, our congressional delegation and potential partners to keep the tower operating. The Department of Transportation’s decision gives us more time to explore options.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the recently enacted Reducing Flight Delays Act will allow the FAA to transfer sufficient funds to end employee furloughs and keep the contract towers open. The FAA will also put $10 million towards reducing cuts and delays in core NextGen programs and will allocate approximately $11 million to partially restore the support of infrastructure in the national airspace system.
- FAA delays Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower closure (Tacoma Daily Index, April 5, 2013)
- FAA to close Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower (Tacoma Daily Index, March 22, 2013)
- WSDOT urges FAA to keep Tacoma Narrows Airport control tower open (Tacoma Daily Index March 12, 2013)
- Sequestration may close FAA contract control tower at Tacoma Narrows Airport (Tacoma Daily Index, March 6, 2013)