BIZ BUZZ BLOG: Tupelo airport tower, others get reprieve

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

Post from Biz Buzz blog …

The air traffic control tower at Tupelo Regional Airport, as well as 148 other towers at small- and medium-sized airports across the country, will NOT close on June 15 after all.

The Federal Aviation Administration has shifted funds to keep money flowing to the contract tower program that include these 149 airport towers. Due to sequestration cuts, the FAA had planned to end funding to the towers and shut them down on June 15.

Instead, they’ll stay open through the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

In Mississippi, other airport towers that get a reprieve are Greenville’s Delta Regional Airport, Jackson’s Hawkins Field, Bay St. Louis’ Stennis International Airport and Olive Branch Airport.

“We’re relieved,” said Doug Metz, the air traffic control manager at Tupelo Regional. “It’s been a long process. … now hopefully the powers that be can get a long-term contract in place by then.”

Metz is one of five air traffic controllers at Tupelo Regional.

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