The air traffic control tower at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport will remain open thanks to the federal omnibus spending bill that President Barack Obama signed Jan. 17.
Included in the $1.1 trillion spending bill was funding not only for the Anoka County Airport, but for traffic control towers at Flying Cloud, Crystal and St. Cloud as well, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesperson Patrick Hogan said keeping the air traffic control towers open helps “ensure the safe, efficient operation of general aviation airports across the nation.”
“Airports such as Anoka County-Blaine play a significant role in maintaining an efficient national air transportation system and in generating local business and jobs,” Hogan said. “We very much appreciate efforts by Sen. Klobuchar and other members of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation in keeping all the control towers in the Twin Cities open and operating.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had planned to close 149 air traffic control towers at reliever airports across the country last year as part of the agency’s required $637 million budget cuts under the federal sequester.
Anoka County’s tower under this plan was going to close May 5, 2013, but this kept being delayed when funding became available through The Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013 that was introduced by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
“This is great news for families and businesses and will go a long way to strengthening local economies and making sure that Minnesota’s airports continue to be among the safest and most reliable in the nation,” Klobuchar said.