Airport control towers set to close

April 2, 2013 by  

As of April 7, the Groton-New London Airport’s control tower will be unattended. The Federal Aviation Administration is closing the airport’s tower along with the control towers of five other Connecticut airports. In addition to making already queasy flyers more nervous, it is believed the decision, if not reversed, will cost jobs throughout the state.

The decision to close control towers, the result of the sequester, is part of a $600m plus plan by the FFA to reduce expenses at small airports throughout the country. In addition to being a potential safety concern, it is expected that the cost cutting will result in slower air traffic across the U.S. Despite having no commercial flights, Groton-New London has about 550 employees, some full and some part-time. With 35,680 takeoffs and landings in 2012, it is believed the airport will be hard pressed to continue unaffected by the loss of its control tower.

Normally, the control tower is operational between the hours of 7am. and 10pm. How the cutbacks will affect the 1109th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group, a helicopter repair facility for the Connecticut National Guard, is at this time unknown. Also in question is what Electric Boat – a Groton-based submarine builder – will do in response to the closing of our local airport’s control tower. Presently, the company uses the airport for shuttle service from Groton-New London to Newport News, VA, and Washington D.C.

This might be a good time for an enterprising entrepreneur or two to step forward. Using advertising material produced through digital printing services to promote a ground shuttle service – particularly for those who find their fear of flying getting the best of them – might be well received.