A Senate amendment could help avert closure of the airport tower at Kingsley Field...1 of 5 air traffic control towers in Oregon threatened by 'sequestration' cuts.
Klamath Falls Airport Director John Longley is optimistic...
"We think it's just excellent news."
Legislation introduced Wednesday by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden would tap into about 50 million dollars in unusued FAA research funds to keep 189 small airport towers nationwide from closing in early April.
Longley notes that of the 189 airport towers scheduled for closure, the one at the Klamath Falls Airport is somewhat unique...
"We're 1 of 5 in the United States that actually has its contract out of the National Guard Bureau back at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland."
Longley says the mix of fighter jets, commercial, and private planes make air traffic control at Kingsley Field essential...
"And during that period of time that the high performance jets operate, it's just absolutely critical that we have a tower."
Military flights account for about 45% of the air traffic at Kingsley Field.
Other airport towers targeted for closure in Oregon include airports in North Bend, Pendleton, Salem, and Troutdale.