Stillwater News Press

April 4, 2013

Stillwater Regional Airport Authority Trustees propose interim contract to keep tower open

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Regional Airport Authority will ask the city to fund the airport's traffic control tower while federal politicians fight to get it on the 2014 budget.

The Federal Aviation Association will cut funding to 149 contract towers this month as part of across the board cuts known as sequestration. Stillwater Regional Airport is one of them.

The authority approved a contract to keep existing controllers employed until Oct. 1 when officials will likely decide if the towers will be put on next year's budget. The contract would cost the city approximately $129,000 and a $5,000 insurance fee.

Stillwater Airport Manager Gary Johnson said the contract will be presented to the City Council on Monday for funding approval.

The City Council will meet in a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the Stillwater Muncipal Building, 723 S. Lewis.

Airport officials said operating the airport without the tower would be dangerous as pilots would have to organize takeoffs and landings with each other.