Air traffic control tower to close in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Air traffic control tower to close in Albany

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Five air traffic control towers will close in Georgia next month, including the one at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany, due to automatic federal spending cuts.

The closing of the towers means several workers will lose their jobs and it could disrupt your next flight out of town.

Commercials flights will still arrive and depart from Albany, but you may experience longer wait times.

"If we go ahead and find out that we have an immense amount of air traffic delays then we are going to have to look at another solution because we don't want to lose that hometown airport," said Airport director Yvette Aehle.

After April 7th, air traffic controllers from Jacksonville will direct flights in and out of the airport.

It's called the "one-in,one-out" system, which may cause delays and you could miss your connecting flight in Atlanta.

"If there's an airplane that happens to be landing and you're sitting on the ground here on Delta's airplane, they're not going to be able to leave until the airplane has landed safely and then they can be in on their way to Atlanta," said Aehle.

Aehle admits there could be a domino effect if flights are constantly delayed, costing the airport to lose to business.

In the meantime, airport officials will monitor the situation and contract out to air controllers if needed.

They are still encouraging passengers to use the airport

"I hope that people will continue to fly out of Albany to see that they're not going to notice anything going on different. Obviously the pilots will be talking to different people, but we want to emphasize to just go ahead and continue to fly out of here," said Aehle.

The other four towers set to close in the state are at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in Macon, the McCollum Field in Kennesaw, the Ben Epps Airport in Athens and the Gwinnett County Airport at Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville.

 

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