The Owensboro/Daviess County Regional Airport is scheduled to lose its control tower on June 15, according to MidAmerica Airport manager Bob Whitmer. In the past week, however, there has been a lot of congressional activity in the Senate and the House of Representatives to reverse the loss of 149 federally funded, but privately maintained control towers. The loss of these towers will be just another example of cuts being caused by the government spending cuts otherwise known as sequestration.
Whitmer said today that these federal control towers add an extra level of safety to many local airports, but that it isn't uncommon to see an airport that doesn't have one. "Many airports do not have them, and they still operate normally," he said.
Also, if the Owensboro airport does lose its control tower, the two commercial airlines who now service the airport, Allegiant and Cape Air, will still give Owensboro their business, according to Whitmer.
With the loss of the local control tower, Owensboro may lose some opportunities at advancement, however. Attracting new flight schools, shipping companies, and airlines will be more difficult because without the air traffic control tower, many possibilities may not give Owensboro a second glance.
"We will no doubt lose business, and it may hurt the airport," said Whitmer. "We have been very active in contacting Rand Paul of Bowling Green, Mitch McConnell of Louisville, and Representative Guthrie to encourage them to vote against the loss of the towers. These towers are tools in our economic toolbox in Owensboro."
SurfKY News will provide more information on this issue as it develops.
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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