The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 7, 2013

FAA should keepbusy towers open

NORMAN — The planned closure of airport control towers at smaller airports around the country has alarmed pilots and passengers. OU’s Max Westheimer Airport was among those scheduled to go dark this month.

However, OU officials have stepped up and provided gap funding for the tower. The move should be applauded as the university’s aviation program is the airport’s biggest single customer.

Student pilots take up many of the thousands of monthly takeoffs and landings. The Westheimer tower is a contract operation. Historically, those towers operate much cheaper than one staffed by federal employees.

The closing of the 149 towers in 38 states has been debated in Congress. It’s part of the $85 billion that a 2011 law requires to be cut from federal spending. USA Today reports some of the affected communities are filing lawsuits to keep their towers open.

Eliminating the 149 towers is expected to save the FAA about $33 million of the $637 million the agency needs to cut by Sept. 30. The newspaper says 90 percent of the nation’s 4,880 public airports do not have control towers.

OU’s decision to keep its tower open is only a short-term measure.

The FAA needs to monitor the safety and re-fund those towers with relatively high traffic counts. Westheimer would likely be in that mix. It’s arguably the third-busiest general aviation airport in the state.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014