WUFT News

FAA delays closing of Ocala International Airport tower

By on April 9th, 2013

Ocala International Airport’s federal contract control tower is one of 149 towers that were initially supposed to close on April 21.

According to the Ocala Star-Banner, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would delay closing the towers until June 15.

Matthew Grow, airport director for the City of Ocala, said there will not be any changes regarding how the Ocala International Airport control tower is run in spite of the looming closing date.

“We’re status quo,” Grow said. “You won’t notice a difference. The same people are providing the same levels of service.”

Grow said shutting down the tower would revert the airport back to uncontrolled status. That means the airport no longer has a control tower. From 1962 to 2010, the airport was in uncontrolled status. In May 2010, the current tower was implemented.

“We just revert back to those standards where the pilots have to talk to each other and work out their own sequencing to and from the runway,” Grow said. “We’re not sure what the impact will be business-wise if the control tower goes away.”

Grow said that while the addition of the tower brought an increase in the number of incoming jets, there are still other factors that could affect business. He said one of these factors could include restrictions from individual companies that don’t allow employees to fly into uncontrolled airports.

“The FAA made an arbitrary decision without regard for local-specific factors out of any of the airports,” Grow said.

He said controllers at the Ocala control tower are provided by a private company called the RVA Group. The company services airports throughout the entire southeastern United States.

Grow said the RVA Group has issued layoff notices to those employees.

“If Congress doesn’t come up with a solution or alternate funding sources, those controllers will lose their jobs,” Grow said. “There is no severance pay. There is nothing. They’re on unemployment.”

Mike Llerena wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

A crowded audience of Island Field residents and trail supporters filled the Jack Durrance Auditorium at the Alachua County Administration building on Tuesday night. The County Commission voted on how to address complaints regarding use of the Barr Hammock trail.

County Commission Votes To Keep Barr Hammock Trail Open

The Alachua County Commission voted Tuesday to keep the Levy Loop Trail at the Barr Hammock Levy Prairie Preserve open year-round. Residents of Island Field, a neighborhood that borders the trail, raised concerns over noise and privacy earlier this year.


Pumpkins, whose native growing climate is in a cool and dry area, are displayed and sold at the Trinity United Methodist Church pumpkin patch. The patch, located at 4000 NW 53rd Ave., in Gainesville, is open until Oct. 30.

Imported Pumpkins Help Bring Fall Season To Florida

More than 40,000 pounds of the brightly-colored gourds arrived on a semi-truck Sept. 28 just in time for this year’s pumpkin patch. Before filling the small hay-covered courtyard at Gainesville’s Trinity United Methodist Church, the pumpkins travel 1,807 miles through [...]


Punk music festival Fest is now permitted to sell alcohol on Bo Diddley Plaza this weekend after the city of Gainesville broadened its alcohol ordinance. Fest will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Fest Expands Into Bo Diddley Plaza After Ordinance Changes

Punk music festival Fest will have bands perform for the first time at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Halloween weekend. The use of the venue comes with ordinance changes Fest organizers have been waiting three years for.


Martin Luther King III poses for photos with Eastside High School's Gospel Choir before addressing the crowd of voters at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. “My father used to say that a voteless people is a powerless people,” he said. “One of the most important steps we can take is the step to the ballot box.”

Residents Encouraged To Vote Early At ‘Empowerment Sunday’

Voters were encouraged to take full advantage of early voting on Sunday at Gainesville’s Empowerment Sunday organized by the African American Accountability Alliance of Alachua County. Martin Luther King III attended.


Teacher Conference Aims to Bring Global Perspective Into Classrooms

Gainesville Connected, a conference in Gainesville, aims to equip teachers to engage students on global issues such as poverty.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments