Easterwood Airport’s Future Raising Safety Concerns

By: Rashi Vats Email
By: Rashi Vats Email
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Easterwood Airport is one of 20 airports in Texas that might be forced shut down air traffic control facilities because of cut-backs from the sequester, and an official with TxDOT told News 3 that would not be a safe move.

"For athletic events at A&M, there are as many as 350 airport movements on the ground without a tower to coordinate these movements; it would present a real problem from a safety aspect,” said Gordon Richardson with TxDOT’s Aviation Advisory Committee.

U.S. Congressman Bill Flores of Bryan doesn't see the control towers being cut as a risk.

"There are uncontrolled airports all over the country that have commercial flight, so I don't envision that to be a big problem actually,” said Flores.

Air controllers help guide planes into airports, but they could be cut from Easterwood Airport, along will several others airports across the state, due to a lack of federal funding.

"I would feel less safe if we didn't have all the tools and resources that are needed to maintain air travel safely. This would be one thing that would put more burden on the pilots to insure our safety,” said John Westbrook, a College Station resident.

Right now the future of these airports remains, up in the air.

If legislators in Washington don't come up with a way to restore $600 million to the Federal Aviation Administration, towers like Easterwood's face permanent closure.

Tomorrow's meeting in Austin will look for solutions on the state and local level.


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