FAA places Brownsville airport control tower on possible closure list

Brownsville Air Traffic Control Tower

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials have placed the Brownsville airport control tower on a possible closures list amid the budget sequestration crisis.

As the U.S. Congress wrestles with the budget deficit, a series of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration are scheduled to take place on March 1st.

A number of federal agencies are bracing for the cuts.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a letter on Friday saying the FAA is looking at $600 million dollar cuts.

FAA Cuts

If a budget deal isn TMt reached in Congress, the FAA will furlough some 47,000 employees across the United States.

Some 60 airports will have midnight shifts eliminated at their air traffic control towers.

The FAA also plans to close 100 air traffic control towers at airports with less than 150,000 flight operations and 10,000 commercial operations per year.

Action 4 news obtained alist of 238 airports the FAA is considering for possible closure.

Of the 19 airport control towers from Texas up for possible closure, only one is from the Rio Grande Valley: Brownsville.

Brownsville Response

Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport Executive Director Larry Brown spoke to Action 4 News about the FAA TMs announcement on Friday.

Brown said the airport and the city are in contact with U.S. Congressman Filemon Vela TMs office and are fighting to keep the Brownsville air traffic control tower open.

We TMre a growing airport, Brown said. We have growing traffic, not declining traffic.

Both American and United Airlines fly out of Brownsville but the airport recently landed business from AeroMexico for non-stop flights to Monterrey.

It TMs a federal responsibility to keep the airports operable, Brown said. We TMll do everything we can to make sure it TMs avoided.