By Mark Langlois
The FAA sent a letter to Danbury Tuesday asking the city to let the FAA know if the national interest would be “adversely affected” by closing the tower.
The Danbury City Council voted Tuesday to tell the FAA keeping the air traffic control tower open at the airport is of the highest importance.
Airport Administrator Paul Estefan said he is trying to figure out how to respond to the FAA’s question if closing the tower at Danbury airport would hurt the national interest. This is the second step in the airport tower closing process the FAA announced on Feb. 22. That announcement said six Connecticut airports will lose their air traffic control towers to save money.
“Negative impact on the national interest is the only criterion the FAA will use for deciding to continue services to an airport,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta wrote Tuesday to airports around the country in a letter co-signed by J. David Grizzle, chief operating officer, Air Traffic Organization.
The letter reminds airports they are free to maintain air traffic control services at the airport’s expense, but Estefan said the letter doesn’t talk about the liability the city would assume by running its own tower.
“The FAA’s guiding principles in implementing the budget sequestration are to maintain our high safety standards,” Huerta and Grizzle wrote.