Neighbors worry about Felts Field Air Tower closing

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 4:38 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane Airports said they were notified Friday that the petition to retain contract Air Traffic Control Tower services was denied.

Felts Field is one of 149 Contract Towers that will close April 7th. Today's announcement comes after three weeks of deliberating a way to keep the tower from closing.

The airports' professional staff, Felts Field tenants and pilots tried writing letters, meeting with elected officials and making phone calls to Washington and Idaho Congressional delegation advocating for the Felts Field to remain open. A 35-page petition outlining why the tower should remain in operation was sent to the Federal Aviation Administration, which was denied.

On Thursday, Spokane Airports CEO, Lawerence J. Krauter, also personally made a one-one appeal to the FAA Administrator asking to maintain the Felts Field Tower and to reconsider drastic cuts to the remaining 188 Contract Towers.

Krauter says he is disappointed in the FAA's decision.

"The arguments that we presented about the complexities of the airspace in the region," said Krauter, "and a number of other compelling facts have been inadequately considered by the FAA through a hastily convened process that contravenes the systematic way that decisions impacting air safety have been historically and consistently handled."

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