Business and Economics

Gary Airport, Gary Jet Center Both Appeal FAA Tower Decision

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The Gary-Chicago International Airport and Gary Jet Center are appealing a federal government decision to close the airport’s control tower.  The Lakeshore’s Denise Turner says the Jet Center and the Airport are telling the Federal Aviation Administration that it’s important for the tower to stay open.

Gary Jet Center’s appeal to the Federal Aviation Administration asks the agency to stay on course … where it already has made investments.

Lynn Eplawy, Jet Center: Don’t diminish all of that investment by then removing the air traffic control tower from this airport.

Those investments include 160-million dollars in spending … including expansion of the Gary/Chicago International Airport’s runway and railroad-tracks relocation during the past six years.  The Airport is making an appeal to the F-A-A, too. Airport Board member Ross Amundson says the Airport wants to ensure that the F-A-A understands that the Airport is a critical diversionary airport to Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports.

Ross Amundson:  We think the arguments that we make, as it relates to us being a reliever airport particularly for O’Hare and Midway, are significant, and we hope that that, along with the need to have control tower manned to continue to provide that service for Allegiant and private jet carriers of which Gary Jet Center is a part is an important element to it, and we’re going to continue to make those arguments.”

The F-A-A does allow airplanes to land … but some airport businesses might require another pair of eyes in the sky.

Lynn Eplawy: Airplanes can land in non-towered airports, but it’s certainly not as safe and there is certainly a lot of other factors that go into that.

The F-A-A plans to make its decision known Monday. A spokesperson from Allegiant Travel Company says they are evaluating the Airport and all available options.  No decision has been made whether to make accommodations or leave the Airport at this time.


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