Skip to Content

Airport Leaders Talk to Airline

Columbia Regional Airport reports being busier than it’s ever been, but that could change if federal budget cuts force the tower to shut down. ABC 17 News has been telling you the airport’s tower is on the FAA’s list to be cut. Many airport officials, including the tower chief, have told us they are worried American Airlines could pull out because there would be nobody manning the tower.Airport manager Don Elliott tells us they first heard of those concerns just last week. He says he has talked with American Airlines and received some information that is encouraging, but right now it isn’t set in stone.City leaders say on average, American flights are about 86-percent full and that’s more than Delta airlines ever had. They’re attributing that to American’s two different destinations. Airport and city leaders want that trend to continue. But with the tower potentially closing- they wanted to hear directly from American Airlines. The airport manager made a call.”They currently fly commercial aircraft into airports that are not controlled by a control tower and it would not affect the operations at Columbia Regional Airport,” airport manager Don Elliott explains.Elliott tells us currently the tower is only open from seven in the morning to nine at night. Landing and taking off without someone in the tower is nothing new to them. Airport leaders say they don’t want the tower to close, but there are a few things they do on a daily basis that would need to be done for every flight if there were nobody in the tower.”As usual, we perform a runway safety check, make sure the runway is clear and they land,” Elliott says.Airport leaders say now they’re turning their attention to expanding the terminal. They’re expecting to have two concepts of the expansion done by mid-April. As for the FAA, they should notify airports losing their towers by next week.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content