The Provo Airport received news of its air control tower’s mandatory closure on Friday, March 22.
Steve Gleason, Provo Airport manager, said a closing phase will occur over the next four weeks for the Provo tower. The tower has been one of 238 low-traffic airports being considered for closing by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); there are 150 other towers closing all over the country.
Airport officials are doing everything they can to stop the closures. Dann Shumway, airport operations coordinator, is booked with meetings for the next couple of weeks. He and his associates are hard at work trying to keep the towers in production so as to not limit the airport’s reach.
“We are doing everything we can to save those towers,” Shumway said. He emphasized the necessity to save the tower for the benefit of the people.
Provo Mayor John Curtis is tired of all the commotion the tower has been causing since it was built at the Provo Airport in 2001.
“The federal government wants to show us it was a bad decision,” he said. “We’re gonna do it the best way we can.”
Without the tower, fliers can still maintain a level of safety. However, some airlines that will want to fly in and out of that airport worry that safety standards will be lower without the tower.
“We feel like we can keep operating and keep the flights going, but it’d be a whole lot better with it,” Curtis said.
Airports all across the nation are beginning to take action in filing lawsuits against the FAA. Their grounds explain the declining safety standards that come with a lack of towers.
The Associated Press reported that both Provo and Ogden airport managers think the tower closures will cause major safety concerns at a local and national level.
Shumway pointed out the desire of officials to find the money and support necessary to keep the towers open.
Raising enough money to keep the towers will benefit the individual airports as well as the local economies of the affected counties. Airport officials, such as Shumway and Gleason, will continue to fight as continuing legislation will decide the fates of the airport tower in the coming weeks. The two said they believe strongly in the benefits of maintaining a tower and refuse to give up fighting the FAA to keep it.