LEWISTON, Idaho-- The control tower at the Lewiston Nez-Perce Airport will close next month. The tower is one of 149 Contract Towers that will close. The announcement comes after three weeks of deliberating a way to keep the tower from closing.
The closures will not force any of those airports to shut down, but pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. Those procedures are familiar to all pilots.
KLEW TV confirmed that the tower will close May 5th.
The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The agency said it had no choice but to subject most of its 47,000 employees, including tower controllers, to periodic furloughs and to close air traffic facilities at small airports with lighter traffic. The changes are part of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which went into effect March 1.