Budget cuts could cut hours at McGhee Tyson airport control tower

4:13 PM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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Federal spending cuts could soon be felt at two Tennessee airports.

The FAA is looking at eliminating overnight shifts at more than 60 air traffic control facilities.   Both McGhee Tyson and Nashville's airport are on the list.

The FAA made the decision as it prepares for $600-million dollars in budget cuts.

According to the FAA, there's no final decision yet on operating hours.

McGhee Tyson officials say since most outgoing and incoming flights are scheduled before midnight, passengers wouldn't see much impact.

If there's a delay, it's up to the airline to decide whether to fly into Knoxville.

"If there's a delay that would bring them into our market after that point, aircraft are obviously equipped with the technology to do that without assistance to land here with an instrument approach runway that we have here at the facility," said TYS spokesperson Becky Huckaby.

This comes as CNN is rerporing the FAA will close 173 air traffic control towers on April 7th, also because of forced budget cuts.
The closures would impact small and medium-size airports.

Federal officials told tower operators Tuesday that it will close 16 more towers in September.

Still - airports can stay open even when the towers close.
Many planes can land without the help of air traffic controllers.

However, the FAA told us they still have to finalize the decision on facility closures.

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