CWA leaders ask state to help fund tower - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

CWA leaders ask state to help fund tower

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

After congress failed to reach a budget agreement, $85 billion in across the board cuts were put into motion. Now, people in Central Wisconsin are seeing the effect of those cuts first hand with the airport control tower set to close.

The FAA announced just days ago 11 airports in Wisconsin will be losing their control towers. That has caused people to be concerned about safety. That's why Central Wisconsin Airport leaders are asking the state to help keep it open.

"The closing of the tower will just add time to our operation, and time adds money," CWA Director of Operations James Olson said.

Olson says airport leaders have come up with a plan to try and keep the tower open.

"We just want to ask the governor, if there is anything, anything at all they can do to keep us open," Olson said

And we wanted to know the same thing. So, during a stop in Wausau Tuesday we asked the governor if anything could be done.

"With our budget process going on, it will be completed in June when the legislature gets the complete budget so certainly that's something we will look at doing if the federal government failed to come up with a viable alternative," Governor Scott Walker said.

But, the governor said he hopes it won't go that far and the FAA will make cuts elsewhere.


"It's not like these are the only cuts they can make in this area, there are plenty of other ways," Governor Walker said. "They talk about community outreach or organizing, I think most people would want to see the FAA spend money on staffing towers than community outreach."  

Leaders at CWA agree, but they say time is running out. 

"It's hard for the people up there not knowing what is going to happen," Olson said.

Airport officials say, regardless, the airport will remain open and flights will take off as scheduled. The tower is currently set to close in early May.

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