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Sequester Could Impact Kissimmee Airport

March 8, 2013 | WMFE -The federal spending cuts known as sequestration could force the closure of dozens of control towers at smaller airports across the country, including Kissimmee in Central Florida. At a press conference Friday, Kissimmee leaders and lawmakers voiced concerns about closing the tower, which they say could have an impact on safety and the economy.

[Image: Democratic Florida US Congressman Alan Grayson speaks at a press conference at Kissimmee Gateway Airport]

Kissimmee Gateway Airport’s control tower is operated under a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration. It is on a list of towers that could close next month because of sequestration.

Shutting the tower will not close down the airport, but it could slow operations from 129,000 departures and landings a year to under 100,000.

Mayor Jim Swan says that would have an impact on the city’s economy.

“It’s an economic engine, not only necessarily because of what happens on the field, but also what happens adjacent to it," Swan says.

Swan says a large part of the airport’s traffic includes business jets bringing people to functions at Disney and conventions on International Drive.

Florida US Congressman Alan Grayson has written to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA urging them to consider the impact of closing the tower.


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