By: Jamel Lanee
BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Boca Raton Airport Authority has decided to follow in the footsteps of other airports and sue the FAA to keep its air traffic control tower open.
Attorneys were instructed to file a free standing petition which was one of four options discussed during an emergency meeting Wednesday.
Other lawsuits already filed claim that the FAA has failed its obligation to put safety first.
Attorneys advised that the chances of permanent success would be slim, but filing the petition could get them temporary relief to keep the tower open.
Airport authority members stated they don’t want the tower to close because of safety reasons and because of the jobs that could be lost.
It also took into the consideration the economic impact the closure would have on the city.
Most people at the meeting felt it was wise to either join in a lawsuit with the other airports that are also projected to close their towers or file separately.
Longtime resident Lenore Wachtel said she was against the lawsuit because it’s a waste of taxpayers money.
She suggested that corporate jet owners and private pilots should have to pay a surcharge.
“They can afford it. It would be very little cause we have 50,000 planes landing and we only need $700,000. dollars, which to my figure comes out to 30 and I think we should charge $50.00 a plane landing.”
The board also decided to donate $1,000.00 to the American Association of Airport Executives in order to be covered under their lawsuit and to reach out to the Attorney General for support on this petition.
Authority members plan to further discuss the lawsuit at their next scheduled meeting on 4/17 .