FAA Will Close One Waco Airport Tower; Fate Of Second Undecided

Waco Regional Airport (File)

WACO (March 22, 2013)—The control tower at the Texas State Technical College Airport will be closed because of automatic budget cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration Agency announced Friday, but the fate of the air traffic control center at Waco Regional Airport has not yet been decided.

The FAA released lists of contract and cost-share towers to be closed on Friday.

Towers at Georgetown Municipal Airport and Easterwood Field in College Station are also on the closing lists released Friday.

The fate of federal air traffic control towers such as the one at Waco Regional is still being decided, an FAA spokeswoman said Friday.

Both TSTC and Waco Regional were included on a list released last month of smaller airports around the country where air traffic control centers could be closed entirely as the Federal Aviation Administration deals with a $600 million reduction in its budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Killeen-Fort Hood Regional Airport was not included on the list of about two-dozen Texas airports that could be closed or forced to operate under reduced hours because of automatic federal spending cuts.

Altogether, the FAA plans to close 149 contract towers around the country over the course of four weeks beginning on April 7.

“We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their towers and these were very tough decisions,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Friday.

“Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration.”