The U.S. Department of Transportation announced May 10 the contract control towers at Tacoma Narrows Airport and 148 other airports will remain open until Sept. 30, the end of the federal government's fiscal year 2013.
The towers had been slated to close June 15 as the Federal Aviation Administration implements budget cuts under the congressional directive known as sequestration.
“This is great news for the customers of our popular airport,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We continue to work with the FAA, our congressional delegation and potential partners to keep the tower operating. The DOT’s decision gives us more time to explore options.”
Pierce County has not received information regarding the status of the towers beyond Sept. 30.
The following statement was issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation:
"Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that DOT has determined that the recently enacted Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 will allow the FAA to transfer sufficient funds to end employee furloughs and keep the 149 low activity contract towers originally slated for closure in June open for the remainder of fiscal year 2013. The FAA will also put $10 million towards reducing cuts and delays in core NextGen programs and will allocate approximately $11 million to partially restore the support of infrastructure in the national airspace system."
Deb Wallace, Public Works and Utilities airport and ferry administrator
Warren Hendrickson, Public Works and Utilities aviation and ferry planer