Monroe Regional could lose control tower in sequestration - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Monroe Regional could lose control tower in sequestration

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe Regional Airport's air traffic control tower is on the chopping block of the possible budget sequestration.

The Department of Transportation is preparing for the possible budget sequestration and has plans to cut an estimated $600 million from it's expenditures for the remainder of this fiscal year. Friday, the Department of Transportation announced the changes under consideration.

  • Furloughing the majority of 47,000 employees for approximately one day per pay period
  • Closing over 100 air traffic control facilities
  • Eliminating the overnight shift at over 60 facilities
  • Reducing preventive maintenance and support for all air traffic control equipment

According to the release, "All of these changes will be finalized as to scope and details through collaborative discussions with our users and our unions."

200 air traffic control facilities on the chopping block have been named. Among those are 5 control towers in Louisiana: Chennault International and Lake Charles Regional in Lake Charles, Shreveport Downtown, Lake Front in New Orleans, and Monroe Regional.

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo says in response to this announcement, "Unfortunately, this could become another case where the American people see the reality of the division that currently exists in Washington, D.C. If these automatic spending cuts at the federal level (sequestration) do become a reality, our new Monroe Regional Airport could be forced to close its tower."

According to Mayo, if the tower at Monroe Regional closes, a tower in the Dallas-Fort Worth area could be over air traffic control.

"We are talking about a loss of jobs, and obstructing the ability for many to conduct business and personal air travel," says Mayo, "Political maneuvering in D.C., at the expense of local municipalities and businesses is definitely not good."

Mayor Jamie Mayo says his administration has plans to contact federal leaders to express concerns about this report. "We are counting on all federal leaders to step up and put politics aside in order to get a budget deal done soon," say Mayo.

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