GTRA flights will continue despite possible tower closures

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Officials with the Golden Triangle Regional Airport say commercial flights will continue despite the possibility of federal funding for the airports’ air traffic control tower being cut.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week it would be shutting off staff funding for seven air traffic control towers in the state and 180 nation-wide, as part of an effort to reduce spending by $600 million.

Mike Hainsey, the airports executive director, tells The Commercial Dispatch ( the airport is ready to supplement the funding lost for the first few months after the April 1 effective date. The tower is currently run by four employees and is active from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. Hainsey says its costs $30,000 per month to operate the tower.

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