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Airport Control Tower to Close

***UPDATE 6:35 P.M.***Federal funding cuts could cause a domino affect that ends air service in Columbia. Airport leaders found out Wednesday some airlines don’t like to fly into places with empty control towers. The airlines point to safety concerns that could cause a disaster.Imagine a scenario where something is on the runway at Columbia Regional Airport. If someone is in the tower, they can radio the pilot with that information. But if the tower is empty, and someone is monitoring the airport from half-a-state away, it could create a dangerous situation.”I’m very concerned about the control tower,” Columbia Public Works Director John Glascock said. “The radar only goes down to 50 feet, anything below 50 feet they can’t see and so that is concerning to us with all the traffic we get on game day and those kind of things.”If Columbia Regional’s tower gets shut down, it will likely be controlled hundreds of miles away in places like Springfield or Kansas City. The controller official told airport leaders there are small things like turtles on the runway, ground wind changes, or deer coming through the fences that the radar can’t catch but could cause an accident. It’s still unclear if Columbia regional’s tower will be shut down.”What we’ve got is what we received officially that they’re looking at closing them, we haven’t heard official word that Columbia’s closing or a date or anything like that, but we assuming it’s coming sometime,” Glascock says.While Columbia hasn’t received official word, Jefferson City has. It got a letter Tuesday night from the FAA saying its tower is on the list to be shut down. Jefferson City leaders tell ABC 17 News if nothing changes from here on, they’re expecting it to close.***ORIGINAL STORY***The control tower at Jefferson City Memorial Airport is scheduled to close in April.Public Works officials told ABC 17 News Wednesday that the city was informed the tower will be shut down by April 7. They found out Tuesday night.Because of forced spending cuts, the Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to shutter 173 control towers across the country.Columbia Regional Airport’s control tower is also included on the list of possible control towers due to the spending cuts, but the city has not received any official notification.

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