Sequestration Could Pull Duluth Air Traffic Controllers; Third Shift Would Disappear
The upcoming sequestration deadline – with it’s automatic spending cuts, could pull overnight air traffic controllers from the Duluth International Airport.
Kevin Jacobsen with the Northland’s Newscenter reports:
In a memo sent Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta laid out the possible impact of the cuts on airports across the nation. It states the FAA is making plans to reduce its expenditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of fiscal year 2013.
Included in those cuts is the midnight shift in Duluth.
Duluth International Airport employs 21 full-time tower operators, working three different shifts. There’s no indication what eliminating the midnight shift would mean for the federal workers.
“Any cut to tower hours, while disappointing, doesn’t mean we won’t be able to conduct business.,” said Tom Werner, the executive director of the Duluth Airport Authority.
Werner said Friday there is a group of stakeholders working to understand the impact of sequestration and will develop a safe and competent plan.
Duluth is the only airport on the overnight elimination list in Minnesota.
Anoka County-Blaine Airport, Flying Cloud, Crystal Tower and St. Cloud Regional are all listed as facilities that could close.
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