Lawmakers Say Airport Control Towers Will Stay Open

HAGERSTOWN, MD - Maryland lawmakers say federal legislation will save our local air traffic control towers from closing this fiscal year. 

The control towers were set to close in June because of budget cuts. The HagerstownRegionalAirport director says he's glad lawmakers passed this legislation, but it's only part of an ongoing struggle during the sequester.

Officials say flights would have continued taking off, but safety would be an issue.

"We appreciate the fact that they understand it's important to keep our tower open and they're doing everything they can to help us with that," says Airport Director Phil Ridenour.

Congress gave the Department of Transportation authority to shift $253 million to prevent the controller furloughs and keep the towers open.

The legislation prevents the towers from closing this fiscal year, meaning only up until September 30, 2013.

"We're glad they keyed on the tower program and keeping the furloughed employees back in the towers," says Ridenour. "But the big fix to this is ending sequestration because when we get to the end of the federal fiscal year we may have this to deal with again."

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