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Local Air Traffic Control Tower to Remain Open for Now

FAA 300OWENSBORO, Ky (5/14/13) – The Owensboro/Daviess County Regional Airport’s control tower has received a brief reprieve once again, as lawmakers in Washington passed a bill authorizing the FAA to move over $250 million dollars in unspent funding to keep 149 air traffic control towers open across the Unites States. Owensboro is home to one such tower.

Bob Whitmer, manager at the Owensboro airport, said Monday that the control tower will, as of now, remain open until September 30. It was originally slated to close on June 15.

“Right now, we have two commercial airlines that service our airport,” said Whitmer. “They like to have the guidance of the tower when landing and departing.”

The control tower currently servicing the Owensboro airport is just one of the positives Whitmer points to when talking about how the airport currently serves Owensboro and Daviess County. An 8,000 foot long runway, as well as advanced guidance and landing technology, better position the Owensboro/Daviess County regional airport to be a tool in the communities economic development, according to Whitmer.

“Without the funding of the federal government for the control tower, it is highly unlikely we could fund the tower privately,” Whitmer said. “Operating a control tower over the course of a fiscal year would cost almost as much as the airport itself to operate.”

Other public officials have said previously the tower is critical to efforts in long-term economic development.

Currently, the budget for the control tower this year is approximately$570,000, while the airport budget itself is just over $600,000.

Alex Reid
SurfKY News

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