WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reached the decision that 149 Federal contract towers will close beginning April 7 as part of the agency’s sequestration implementation plan. The agency has made the decision to keep 24 federal contract towers open that had been previously proposed for closure because doing so would have a negative impact on the national interest. The City of Klamath Falls is pleased to announce the Klamath Falls Airport Tower is one of the 24 towers to be kept open.
“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in the FAA’s announcement today. The national interest considerations included: (1) significant threats to national security as determined by the FAA in consultation with the Department of Defense or the Department of Homeland Security; (2) significant, adverse economic impact that is beyond the impact on a local community; (3) significant impact on multi-state transportation, communication or banking/financial networks; and (4) the extent to which an airport currently served by a contract tower is a critical diversionary airport to a large hub.
In addition to reviewing materials submitted on behalf of towers on the potential closure list, DOT consulted with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and conducted operational assessments of each potential tower closure on the national air transportation system.
The City of Klamath Falls is thankful for the support and determination of Congressman Walden, Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden in this process. The tower remaining open is of significant importance to this community, the Air National Guard and our partners.
For more information on national impacts and affected towers visit the FAA website at www.faa.gov.