.

Federal Sequestration Means FAA May Close Six Connecticut Air Towers

As part of a goal to cut $600 million in costs during 2013 because of the federal budget Sequestration, the FAA is making plans to close towers in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport Danbury, Oxford and Groton.

 

Air traffic towers in Hartford and Groton are scheduled to close in April along with four other airport towers in Connecticut because of the federal budget impasse.

The Federal Secretary of Transportation sent letters on Feb. 22 to airports, trade associations and others saying the sequestration (partial government shutdown) will also lead to longer flight times because of fewer air traffic controllers.

"Flights to major cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco could experience delays of up to 90 minutes during peak hours because we will have fewer controllers on staff," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote to the Department of Defense, Airlines for America, the National Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, among others.

"We also expect that as airlines estimate the potential impacts of these furloughs, they will change their schedules and cancel flights," LaHood wrote.

Danbury Airport Administrator Paul Estefan said Danbury has about 80,000 take-offs and landings a year, which means the Danbury tower is likely to close in April when the FAA sets a closure date.

LaHood's letter includes a list of all the airports likely to lose their air traffic control towers in April. In Connecticut, those are Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Bridgeport, Danbury Municipal Airport, Groton-New London Airport in Groton (New London,) Hartford-Brainard in Hartford, Tweed New Haven in New Haven, and Waterbury-Oxford in Oxford.

"If they can't resolve the budget, I guess that's the game plan," Estefan said. "The real question is after the sequestration, will they bring them back and how long will that take?"

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »