Administrators: CWA may join lawsuit to keep tower open - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Administrators: CWA may join lawsuit to keep tower open


CWA administrators met with the airport board to discuss the future of the control tower.

"I think that the transition might be a little rough going from having a tower at 149 airports to now, those being taken out of the loop," said Airport Director, Tony Yaron.

There were some common concerns throughout the meeting, including safety and preventing delays.

"From past experience, if you've got snowfall in LaGuardia, the whole system is disrupted, the same thing goes for a snowstorm or thunderstorm at Chicago O'Hare," said Yaron.

With the closure of the CWA tower just a few weeks away, airport administrators and board members said they're exploring every option to keep the tower open.

One of those options is joining at least five other airports in a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport officials said that could delay the closures, until they can figure out what's next.

"The procedures that the FAA requires the airports to follow, such as environmental assessments and safety management decisions or procedures, were not followed in this, so the FAA is breaking their own rules in deciding to close these towers down," said Yaron.

We contacted FAA officials Friday, but they declined to comment.

Another option CWA administrators discussed was picking up the tab for the tower. They estimated it could cost the airport about $250,000 a year, meaning they'd need to come up with about $125,000 for this year.

"Central Wisconsin Airport has to raise all of its money, all of its revenues, in order to be able to expend that, I've got no revenue stream that would be able to immediately take care of that," said Yaron.

But airport officials may find help here in Wisconsin. Earlier this week, Governor Walker told Newsline 9 there may be room in the state's budget, come this June.

"That's something we look to, if the federal government failed to come up with a viable alternative," said Gov. Walker.

The airport board plans to meet again in the coming weeks to determine a possible resolution.

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