Some Tampa Bay area airports to lose air traffic controllers - WFLA News Channel 8

Some Tampa Bay area airports to lose air traffic controllers

Posted: Updated:
Albert Whitted Airport, St. Petersburg Albert Whitted Airport, St. Petersburg

Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, and St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport, are among 149 airports around the country that will lose FAA air traffic controllers.  The move is the result of budget cuts from the sequester. 

Lakeland-Linder is the site of the annual Sun N'Fun air show, which attracts thousands of pilots from around the country.  Officials say the cuts will not impact the event, though they will have to pay out of pocket to staff the air traffic control tower.

Gene Conrad, director of Lakeland-Linder airport says despite the cuts, the airport will remain open.

"We are exploring other options to keep our tower opened whether it is reduced hours Monday thru Friday and thru the weekends," said Conrad, "but it is an amenity we want to continue to provide and it is very important for safety and we are going to continue to move forward and explore our options."

Once the cuts go into effect, pilots will be required to coordinate their take-offs and landings through a shared radio frequency.

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