The four Oregon airfields threatened by control tower funding cuts, got a reprieve Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration is delaying the shuttering of 149 airport control towers around the country until mid-June.
The control towers were scheduled to start closing this weekend as part of the sequester cuts. But now towers at Salem, Pendleton, North Bend and Troutdale will remain open for the time being.
The director of Urban Development at the City of Salem, John Wales, says there’s a sense of relief.
Wales said, “It’s a great opportunity to revisit this issue on how the decision was made to use the contract tower program as the source for most of the FAA cuts. And are hoping they’ll step back and take another look at this.”
Wales says while no commercial flights use the Salem Airport, it is a hub of economic activity for business flights, National Guard planes, and test flights for engineers working on Garmin map products.
The Associated Press reported that trade groups representing companies that operate the towers filed a lawsuit Thursday.