Smyrna Airport control tower to remain open, FAA says - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Smyrna Airport control tower to remain open, FAA says

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SMYRNA, TN (WSMV) -

The federal budget battle known as sequestration has introduced cuts for everything from school programs to the military to air travel.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced plans Friday to close 149 air traffic control towers across the country beginning on April 7, but one Middle Tennessee airport's tower will remain open.

The tower at the Smyrna-Rutherford County Airport was not included on the FAA list of towers subject to closure.

Smyrna Airport Manager John Black said the airport's tower was among 24 contract towers selected to remain open, because closure would have a negative effect on the overall airspace system, he said.

The FAA closures only affect towers that use contract workers, so the Nashville International Airport is not included.

Earlier this month, airport officials told Channel 4 News that being without tower operations would affect safety and create trickle-down issues for the area economy.

The facility is the busiest general aviation airport in the state, with some 67,000 flight and training operations each year.

One of the busiest cargo haulers at the Smyrna Airport is Nissan, as it flies in parts to keep the production line at its local plant up and running.

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