TxDOT provides emergency funding for air traffic control towers - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

TxDOT provides emergency funding for air traffic control towers

Amarillo, TX -- The Texas Transportation Commission is stepping in to keep the state's airways open, after Governor Rick Perry appealed for emergency funding.

The federal budget cuts that kicked in three weeks ago have the Federal Aviation Administration planning to close 149 air traffic control towers across the country, including 13 in Texas.  And at the behest of Governor Perry, the Commission will keep those towers open for the next three months.

On March 2nd, the Budget Control Act implemented the across the board federal budget cuts known as sequestration.  The FAA was forced to cut about $600 million from its budget, and among those on the chopping block were some air traffic control towers.

But they only targeted contract towers, which are usually at smaller airports and staffed by subcontracted employees.  Federal towers, like the ones at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, will not be affected.

"Our tower - the people who run that and the controllers are all FAA employees,"  explains airport manager Patrick Rhodes, "and the 'contract towers' are people who have qualified to be a controller or a controller manager, but they work for a private business."

The FAA does provide local funding for upgrades and improvements in the form of an annual grant, and officials don't expect that to change.

"Typical funding that this airport gets from the FAA amounts to about three million dollars a year, and that's based on the number of people who fly out of here," says Rhodes, "But I think if the program were going to be impacted, they would have let us know by now."

The estimated annual cost of keeping the thirteen towers open is about $7 million.  Without funding, the towers would have closed on April 7th.

If you'd like to learn more about the significance and impact of the cuts or read Governor Perry's letter for yourself, follow the links attached to this story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump's Cohen comments raise questions about relationship

    Trump's Cohen comments raise questions about relationship

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:18 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:18:48 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-04-27 02:42:46 GMT
    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

  • Investigators: DNA from genealogy site caught serial killer

    Investigators: DNA from genealogy site caught serial killer

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-04-27 02:42:10 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

  • The Latest: Packers and Cowboys add defensive stars

    The Latest: Packers and Cowboys add defensive stars

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:31 PM EDT2018-04-26 22:31:36 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 10:36 PM EDT2018-04-27 02:36:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...(AP Photo/Tom R. Smedes, File). FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2016, file photo, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen reacts after scoring a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Nevada in Reno, Nev. Allen is expected to be a first r...
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.
    The NFL has renewed an exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video for digital streaming of Thursday night games during 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Powered by Frankly