3 Michigan air traffic control towers to close

Three air traffic control towers in Michigan are among 149 nationwide that will close as a result of federal budget cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday, prompting concern among some officials over how the airports will efficiently and safely coordinate flights.
AP Wire
Mar 24, 2013

 

The shutdowns are the result of the FAA's move to reduce spending by more than $600 million under automatic federal budget cuts. The airports will remain open, but pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves, which officials say may force the airports to cut back on the number of flights they handle.

"I don't want to run around and say the sky's falling, but are we going to be able to perform at the same capacity that we are today?" said Larry Bowron, transportation director at W.K. Kellogg in Battle Creek, which will see its air traffic control tower closed.

"Are we going to ... be able to maintain the same safety record? I can't promise that," he said.

Other airports on the air traffic control closure list include Coleman A. Young in Detroit and Sawyer International in Marquette County's Sands Township.

Last month, the FAA released a preliminary list of airport control towers at risk for closure. Airports were given a chance to send comments to the agency making their case as to why a particular tower should stay open.

The FAA will start closing the towers over a four week period starting April 7. Pilots will coordinate the flights over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers, something they are trained to do.

But Bowron compared it to pulling the stoplights and stop signs from a busy intersection and telling drivers to communicate with one another about when to stop.

"You're going to have congestion and fender-benders," he said.

Jason Watt, general manager of Coleman A. Young Airport, said in a statement that while the announcement is "a significant blow to the airport," it will remain open and continue to "maintain safe and effective operations."

After April 2, the airport's tower operations will be handled by the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, more than 20 miles to the southwest, he said.

Bowron said that while W.K. Kellogg was awaiting the news from the FAA, the tower handled 77 aircrafts from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, a record number of aircrafts for the airport in a one-hour period. The airport handles a number of flights from Western Michigan University's College of Aviation and the Battle Creek Air National Guard, but the FAA only considered flights with regularly ticketed passengers when looking at which towers to close, he said.

The preliminary list included three other Michigan airports with air traffic control towers at risk for closure, in addition to the three announced Friday: Ann Arbor, Jackson County-Reynolds Field in Jackson and Muskegon County in Muskegon.

The closings announced Friday only involve airports that use contractors for their towers, which means some towers from the preliminary list may still close.

Marty Piette, airport manager at Muskegon County Airport, said their air control tower is FAA staffed and has not yet received word of whether it will be closed.

Jackson County-Reynolds Field airport's air control tower will remain open, said airport manager Kent Maurer.

Jackson County is in a group of 16 airports whose towers are partially funded by the FAA. He was told those airports would continue to be funded through Sept. 30, at which point the funding will be reevaluated.

Officials at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport could not be immediately reached for comment.

Comments

Boater

So American's have to do without and yet BO gives $500 Million of our tax dollars to the Palestinians? What is wrong with this picture? Its the citizens money.

Lanivan

Hey - I hear you, Boater - a newly-released study on the 10th anniversary of the Bush/Cheney Iraq War shows that it cost taxpayers $2.2 Trillion and counting.....and the GOP just proposed a budget that would slash hundreds of billions in the form of citizen services and public safety, with little to nothing in defense or foreign affairs (actually, although Defese spending is about 24% of the annual budget, US foreign aid is less than 1% of the total budget, and is less as a percentage in the US than almost every other developed country).

Boater

It's not the "Bush/Cheney" war, Congress voted on it and passed the resolution regardless if YOU care to acknowledge it or not. It doesn't change the fact.
As for the GOP and their budget, I think it's fantastic. Cut the crazy irresponsible spending. The Senate just passed a $3.7 trillion dollar budget using money that they don't have. How does THAT make sense? I'm for responsibility not careless payoffs that pad the pockets of their donors.

Lanivan

So let me get this straight - you are complaining about the closing down of air traffic control towers because of budget cuts, to the tune of
$85 billion for starters (the GOP budget, which will never pass btw, slashes social and safety services even deeper), and bitter about what amounts to less than 1% of the budget in some foreign aid. But you support and the Iraq War, started by a Republican administration and passed by a Republican congress and costing this country $2.2 trillion.

And that's responsible?

Mystic Michael

There you go again, Lanny: Dragging facts, figures, and a sense of context & proportion into the debate. When will you ever learn that it's simply not the way things are done around here? ; )

MM

Lanivan

God, how I miss you and your humor....

Mystic Michael

Yes, Boater. Congress did indeed pass the resolution to authorize the Iraq War - in reaction to trumped-up charges, false "evidence", intense and inappropriate arm-twisting of the nation's intelligence agencies, and a general political atmosphere of fear combined with jingoistic chest-beating...all fomented and promoted heavily by our Commander in Chief and his right-hand man, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Yet you're claiming that since Bush & Cheney were able to get the war they wanted by lying to the American people, and by lying to Congress and manipulating Congress, that it somehow absolves them of ownership of that war? By that very same "logic", any garden-variety con man could obtain absolution of his crimes of fraud & embezzlement - depending solely on how well he managed to convince his victims that his lies were actually the truth.

MM

Lanivan

Yes, it's true. Research has shown that there are still living, breathing people out there who still refuse to accept the truth that Bush/Cheney took this country to war, madness, and mayhem - all based on lies to Congress, the American people, the global community, and possibly to themselves.

These same people try very hard to find some way, some thread or link, to be able to blame Obama for the Iraq War and the subsequent near-collapse of our country....he's such a big spender and all. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Wingmaster

These must be those trumped of charges you speak of: http://www.davidstuff.com/politi...

Seems you kinda made a silly comment don't ya think?

Wingmaster

My above comment was a retort to Mysick Michael but you may learn something from it as well Lan.

Lanivan

Thanks Wing - I did some research and seems some but not all of the quotes have been taken very much out of context....check this out...http://www.snopes.com/politics/w...

Wingmaster

Ok, so now we can agree both sides can play the word game. I tired of hearing the crap that Bush alone took us to war, or he lied to do so. Saying no Dem believed and stated the same thing is trying to rewrite history and feeding the disconnect the American voters feel with their government. They were all acting on the best information of the time and some of it was exact and factual, some was not. Own up to it and move on. So when the left runs for cover like rodents when the light of truth is turned on about what led us into Iraq, I get a little agitated because while they are diving for cover they are flinging sh**t when they are diving trying to protect their political a$$, ie votes.

Lanivan

The fact is that you are partly correct, and partly incorrect. Many in Congress were acting on the information they were provided - it's just that the information was false.

Believe me, I hate what happened. And I will never forget that it was Bush/Cheney who signed off on the war checks, and weakened our country. And that the right-wing now plays the blame game with Obama for the consequences of their actions.

Wingmaster

You mean we're both partly correct, and partly incorrect. Just like the leaders of that time. You can't just hold Bush accountable for information true or false, or otherwise, and leave the Dems unaccountable to the same info. Surely as a centrist you can see that.

Mystic Michael

"They were all acting on the best information of the time and some of it was exact and factual, some was not."

This is the part where your argument goes completely off the rails, Wingnut. Because it implies - strongly - that everyone involved was acting strictly in good faith, according to well-established and well-respected intelligence-gathering methods. And that is simply NOT the case!

Ironically (to your argument), it may have been true for many members of Congress. But it was most certainly NOT true for Bush & Cheney, and their top henchmen - and for many others in the Bush/Cheney Administration's national security & intelligence agencies, who have primary responsibility for determining fact from error, then sharing verified information with Congress.

Cheney, in particular, was not even trying to obtain "the best information of the time...", by following established protocol for establishing the veracity & credibility of intelligence. Cheney was deliberately asserting a pre-formulated conclusion - then intentionally pressuring and manipulating the Administration's intelligence apparatus to come up with "facts" to "verify" it - thereby doing it exactly bass-ackwards, i.e. putting the horse before the cart.

It is simply inconceivable that a man of Cheney's decades of high-level government experience, combined with his well-known skill at playing political realpolitik, wouldn't have known any better. Cheney may be devious and conniving, but unlike George Bush, dimwitted he is not.

Cheney played Congress like a fiddle. If anything, they may rightly be accused of political cowardice. But if they were honestly deceived by Cheney's machinations, it's because they never looked into any of it very deeply. It's because many of them simply didn't want to know.

MM

Wingmaster

If memory serves me correct, Bush would not take vacations in the beginning of the conflict (that both parties voted for) and restricted his time to his ranch (many working vacations) and didn't take two separate Airforce One's to fly his family around! http://patriotupdate.com/article...

Oh, well at least Odrama has his brackets for March, ah Madness March together!

Mystic Michael

You're absolutely right, Wingnutmaster: The President is not allowed to have any kind of private life...unless he happens to be a right-wing Republican!

MM

Wingmaster

You're so right Mysick Michael. (like that, I can pay fun with names too) We should never expect a Odrama (another good one huh) to produce a budget, or at least engage in the process, for the country ahead of his bracket picks. Terribly mean spirited of me. I'm just not good at lowering my expectations for the President of these United States. Seems the rest of the world is getting the hang of it tho.

Lanivan

"The Name Game", Shirley Ellis.

Wingmaster

Kinda stumbled into that one..."One", Metallica

Lanivan

Wings - Band on the Run.

Mystic Michael

Well, it's always something, isn't it? Once you exhaust the relatively small number of legitimate criticisms of the President that you can exploit, there's a never-ending supply of trivial, petty, insignificant, picayune little things that you can grumble and moan about.

So go ahead. Knock yourself out. Just don't expect anyone with the least degree of fairness, common sense or reason to pay the slightest attention to you - much less ever take you seriously.

MM

Wingmaster

Well now were getting somewhere if you can see there is legitimate criticisms. Seems a budget is not a small trivial thing but at least some light is shining in the mist.

Mystic Michael

If me acknowledging that President Obama is not perfect (as if I had ever claimed otherwise) helps you to save face, then fine. Whatever kind of role-playing allows you to savor your little "victory"...

Meanwhile back in the world of substance & significance, Republicans in the US House have, once again, proposed a budget of which a feudal lord would be proud: All (remaining) perks & privileges go to the top, while the serfs should consider themselves lucky to still be allowed to breathe the lord's air. All with nary a peep from you and those of your kind who share your retrogressive views.

The fact that this particular policy proposal was soundly & ignominiously rejected by the voters (remember them?) during the general election last November seems to have entirely escaped the notice of Congressman Ryan and his co-conspirators. Pesky voters...

MM

Wingmaster

If memory serves me correct, Bush would not take vacations in the beginning of the conflict (that both parties voted for) and restricted his time to his ranch (many working vacations) and didn't take two separate Airforce One's to fly his family around! http://patriotupdate.com/article...

Oh, well at least Odrama has his brackets for March, ah Madness March together!

Lanivan

I'm not sure what your reply has to do with the closing of air control towers, but I'll bite. It's a well-established fact that Bush II took vast amounts of vacation time - 490 days at his ranch and 487 at Camp David. Obama took (in 4 years) 54 days at Camp David and 72 days elsewhere. Of course, presidents are never truly "on vacation". http://theweek.com/bullpen/colum...

Highlander

Boater- You may want to stop, while you're behind. Bush/Chaney screwed theis country with the Iraq war, built on trumped up WMD's- seen "Hubris" yet? Bush/Chaney charged the wars on the USA's credit card- and American's never sacrificed like our "patriotic" parents and grandparents did in previous wars. Instead, we were told to go shopping. We've been drunk with greed and "I, me, mine". To quote a great American named Blutarsky, , "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

Highlander

Boater- You may want to stop, while you're behind. Bush/Chaney screwed theis country with the Iraq war, built on trumped up WMD's- seen "Hubris" yet? Bush/Chaney charged the wars on the USA's credit card- and American's never sacrificed like our "patriotic" parents and grandparents did in previous wars. Instead, we were told to go shopping. We've been drunk with greed and "I, me, mine". To quote a great American named Blutarsky, , "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life."

Wingmaster

Look up Halabja poison gas attack of 1988. Those chemical attacks were against citizens in his country. Might also want to read thru these conveniently forgotten statements by your Dem friends http://www.davidstuff.com/politi...

Lanivan

Sad - no, tragedy of epic proportions - that the Bush/Cheney lies, manipulations, and diversions they employed in our country, as well as globally, to start a preemptive war and nearly unilaterally invade a country, completely snowed not only the citizenry, but our congressional leaders, as well. Except for then-Senator Obama, who famously denounced the war as a "dumb war".

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