Federal Cuts Could Impact Lakeland Airport
February 24, 2013
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  • LAKELAND —  Federal spending cuts, known as a sequester, could impact Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.

    More than $80 billion in across-the-board budget reductions are set to begin nationwide March 1, meaning the possible closure of the airport’s control tower.

    The cuts are part of a federal deficit-reduction agreement between the White House and Congress.

    More than a billion dollars of the reduction would come from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    The DOT has already signaled it could shut down more than 100 towers in the FAA’s Federal Contract Tower Program to enforce the cutbacks, including Lakeland’s airport.

    The airport is slated to host the annual Sun ‘n Fun in April.

    Airport director Gene Conrad told Bay News 9’s partner newspaper, The Lakeland Ledger, there are several reasons the cuts might not affect the airport.

    He said the DOT might not consider the airport because of the economic impact of Sun ‘n Fun, traffic was up more than 50% from last year and it has the 52nd busiest tower in the Program.