U.S. Budget Cuts: The Effect On Felts Field - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

U.S. Budget Cuts: The Effect On Felts Field

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SPOKANE, Wash. - It's looking like $85 billion dollars in mandatory government spending cuts will go into effect on Friday and agencies and workers affected are still laying out what that will mean for them.  

The Transportation Department says it plans to close air-traffic control towers at 100 airports nationwide, which could include Felts Field in Spokane.  

Approximately 53,000 flights come in and out of Felts Field every year, and because it has fewer than 150 thousand, the FAA has put it on the list of potential airports to lose air traffic control.

The airport wouldn't be shut down; it would just be uncontrolled and leave pilots to look out for their own safety.  

Many pilots say they would have concerns flying in and out of Felts Field with no control tower. They say it would be similar to driving through a busy intersection with no traffic lights.  

Spokane Airports CEO Larry Krauter says Felts Field currently operates with a tower 12 hours a day.

In anticipation of possible budget cuts they are coming up with a contingency plan and actively stating their case why it's important for them to maintain services.  

"The airspace is fairly complex," said Larry Krauter.  

If the sequester happens on Friday, it doesn't mean Felts Field would be chosen to close it's tower.

Any closures that are announced wouldn't take affect until April 1st.  

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