Lakeshore News Tonight

FAA Announces Gary Airport Control Tower Will Close Next Month

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The Gary-Chicago International Airport is among 149 facilities nationwide that will lose its air control tower in April, thanks to the federal sequester.  The federal government sent airport officials an email Friday notifying them of the bad news… but hours later, things started looking up, when Allegiant Airlines announced it will continue serving Gary despite the tower closure.  Lakeshore News reporter Denise Turner spoke with Gary-Chicago International Airport Interim President Steven Landry, who says he received an email telling him the tower will close due to federal automatic spending cuts.

Steven Landry: I was one of 235 addressees on the email. So the correspondence I received was not specifically to Gary Airport.

Landry says he is disappointed with the FAA’s decision to close the tower, despite his appeal to Washington earlier this month.

Landry: Apparently our appeal didn’t meet the qualification that the FAA had set out, so we end up the closure list.

Landry did get some good news following the disappointing FAA decision. He says Allegiant Travel Company announced it will continue flying passengers to Orlando twice a week without the controllers.

Landry: I have been in contact with them, and they have incidentally indicated to me that they will continue operations, even through the control tower will close.

And Landry says people should not worry about safety because many planes already take flight without the help of human hands.

Landry:  We use those procedures every day;  the control tower is staffed from 5a-10p so everyday we are a non-tower airport.

In Gary, Denise Turner, Lakeshore News.


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