Longview, TX (Longview News-Journal) — The air traffic control tower at East Texas Regional Airport is in the clear for now, but Tyler Pounds Airport officials received a letter Wednesday giving operators until March 13 to tell FAA officials why closing the airport’s tower would have a negative national impact.
Tyler Pounds was one of 168 small-to medium-sized airports to receive a similar letter this week.
FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the federal agency could not consider local community impact in whether to keep a facility open — only the national interest.
“The airport received notification from FAA of the possibility to close the air traffic control tower at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport,” Tyler Pounds Manager Davis Dickson said Wednesday. “However, there are a number of circumstances that surround this decision before it can be finalized. The airport will be reviewing these matters and working with FAA before any decision for closure may commence.”
Manager Roy Miller said East Texas Regional Airport did not receive such a letter.
East Texas Regional Airport terminal radar has approach control for Tyler Pounds, and it is an FAA-operated facility.
Air traffic control at Tyler Pounds is a contracted service to Robinson Aviation RVA. Most of the air traffic control towers targeted for closure were contracted services.
Wes Cozart, CEO of Robinson Aviation, said his company, which is based in Oklahoma City, operates 96 air traffic control towers.
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