Editor's Note: The following op/ed was written by Bruce King of Hampton Bays in response to an article posted on Patch on Friday reporting that if Federal "sequestrian" cuts go through, the tower at Gabreski Airport will be shut down, creating uncontrolled airspace.
The air space and airport will not be “uncontrolled,” it will operate under FAA rules known as Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Most small airports operate under VFR as the need for a control tower and the expense of personnel cannot be sustained.
If the residents of the area around the airport or the community it services or the USAF feels the need, the control tower can be manned. The USAF has a program to train air traffic controllers, ‘E’ grade personnel and could easily supply the tower during times of need.
Westhampton Beach, being a wealthy community, could easily afford to man the tower. The tower and equipment are already in place thus no need to purchase/build from scratch.
Eastern Suffolk BOCES also has a program to train local high school students to be air traffic controllers; certification is by FAA testing also available locally.
- Gabreski Airport Tower Faces Closure
- Gabreski Airport Manager: Air Traffic Tower Closure Creates Uncontrolled Airspace
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