Airport Control Tower Closure Delayed - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Airport Control Tower Closure Delayed

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- The air traffic control tower at the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport will remain open for at least a few more weeks.  The FAA made a decision on Friday to delay the closing on 149 airport control towers until June.

The airport manager in Salisbury says if the tower does close, there will be less planes in the sky over Salisbury.

"We will lose a lot of our military traffic which in recent years has been the only traffic that is growing right now at the airport," said Bob Bryant, the airport manager.

Bryant said that they delay will give him extra time to try and figure a way to keep the Salisbury tower open beyond June.  However, he admits it will be an extremely difficult task to do.

"We do not have the known yet untapped revenue source that I can impose upon the tenants and the users of this airport to generate the nearly 500 thousand dollars that will operate this control tower each year," said Bryant.

It was the sequester that cut nationwide funding and is forcing the closure of over two hundred small airport control towers.  While airport officials in Salisbury will work to keep the tower open, some passengers flying out of Salisbury on Friday still do not understand why the towers were slated to close in the first place.

It isn't safe to fly without having directions for the pilots to bring their planes in and out.  I have a son who is a pilot, I know what I am talking about.  And this thing should be open day and night," said Bettye Blatchley of Seaford.

The delay is just temporary and unless major changes are made, the control tower in Salisbury will be closed this summer.

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