FAA to close towers at six Connecticut airports

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)-- As soon as this news was announced late this afternoon, US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy announced they'll continue to fight to restore federal funding by offering an amendment tonight, and many of you telling News 8 that you hope their voices are heard. 

In fact, Mayor DeStefano calls Tweed an economic engine for the region.

There's a universal sentiment that's been flying around New Haven's Tweed Airport.

"We definitely need this airport," said Francey Brody .

It's been the phrase over the last month, when President Obama first announced about 150 airport towers could close as part of the sequestration.

Then, Tweed, along with local, state, and federal leaders appealed that decision by the FAA to close a number of Connecticut's towers. 

Today, the FAA rejected that appeal.

So, Tweed along with Brainard-Hartford, Sikorsky Memorial in Bridgeport, Danbury Municipal, Groton New London, and Waterbury Oxford's towers are slated to close on April 7th.  

This means pilots at these affected airports will have to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers.

A Branford business man, who flies out of Tweed every two weeks, worries about what this could mean for commercial flights. He dreads the thought of flying at a busy airport.

"My wife drives me here in the morning.  It takes ten minutes, she drops me off, she picks me up and now I've got to pay for parking.  It's going to change my flying pattern," said Tom Dewahirst, of Branford.

It's a similar story for Francey Brody, who's always picking people up at Tweed.

"No matter where I live in the region, it's only a few minutes from my house. My other sister came through, she's coming through again in another couple weeks," said Brody.

Late this afternoon.,Tweed's executive director said US Airways has confirmed it will continue service here and flights will not be interrupted.  But,  the entire community of course worries how this will affect the local economy.

"It would be sad.  They've expanded this airport five or six times now," said Brody.

The FAA says it will take steps to make sure there are safety operations in place at all of these affected airports across the country.

They're set to close over a four week period starting April 7th.  We will of course keep you posted on US Senators Blumenthal and Murphy's attempts to restore federal funding.

 

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- The Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday it will be closing contract control towers at six Connecticut airports as a way to save money because of the sequestration.

The list includes:

Brainard Airport, Hartford (HFD) Danbury Municipal Airport, Danbury (DXR) Groton-New London Airport, Groton (GON) Sikorsky Memorial Airport, Stratford (BDR) Tweed-New Haven Airport, New Haven (HVN) Waterbury-Oxford, Oxford (OXC)

Overall the FAA will close towers at 149 airports nationwide.

In a news release, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration.”

“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in the statement.

The FAA will begin the closures on April 7.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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Comments

max
This is "Bad Politics 101"! This an extremely bad attempt to get all funding restored. There should be an investigation and the people responsible should be removed from their position.
Hosed-by-the-system
I work at TWEED at the FBO there doing aircraft maint, though this will effect some of the flights we deal with, alot of our international flights come in after 10PM now, and thats when the tower closes anyway at 10 pm to 6am so planes still are able to land. What blows is our illustrious government as a whole, we lay off a few ATC people BUT the REAL ridiculousness, continues....being hosed by the vendors that sell to the government, paying $800 for something that anywhere else is $175...........this goes on by the millions.........spending way more than we need to in foriegn aide, which should be cut by at least 65%..so public safety may take a slight hit from this...no REAL thought was done with this at all....but, again its our government, you CANT expect anymore form them, they are incapable of it.........
 

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Connecticut (change)

 
Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
 
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Governor: Dan Malloy
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