New bill could keep small airport control towers open - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

New bill could keep small airport control towers open

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Southwest Georgia Regional Airport leaders are waiting for official word, but legislation Congress passed Friday could keep Albany's control tower open. 

The measure will end furloughs of air traffic controllers that caused flight delays around the country.

It allows the FAA to use up to $253-million from airport improvement funds to end the furloughs.

The money could also be used to keep small airport towers open, though right now Albany's tower is still set to shut down.

Some bad news though.

The move could take money away from future airport projects.

"The demolition of the old terminal, it may impact us there, but we won't know that until the start of the new fiscal year for how much money is available and the fiscal year doesn't start until October 1st for the federal government," said Southwest Georgia Regional Airport Deputy Director Ken Johnson.

Right now, the Albany tower is scheduled to close June 15th.

City officials are mulling over the idea of taking over operations, but that would cost city taxpayers about a half million dollars a year.

 

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