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Flights would continue despite cuts

Airport
Feb. 25, 2013 @ 11:37 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The Huntington Tri-State Airport would be able to continue flights in and out of Huntington, even if it is hit by federal spending cuts that could go into effect by the end of this week, the airport's executive director said Monday in a statement to airport board members.

Jerry Brienza, director of the airport, said airport officials are working to determine exactly how the airport would be affected by the cuts and what adjustments would be necessary.

According to information from the U.S. Department of Transportation released last week, the Federal Aviation Administration would face cutbacks, including control tower closures at 100 U.S. airports with fewer than 150,000 flights per year.

"Indeed, HTS (Tri-State Airport) was on both lists for possible FAA Tower overnight closures as well as complete closures," Brienza said in his statement to the board. "This does not close the airport. We are working with the FAA, TSA (the Transport Security Administration), and local tenants/users to determine the actual extent of the effects should sequestration become a reality.

"What I do know, however, is that the airport would remain open for business, with or without local air traffic control tower representation. If the tower were to be closed, our airspace would most likely be controlled by a larger FAA facility that is capable of handling our airspace, for example, Indianapolis."

He said it appears that none of the airport's current operators, such as Piedmont or FedEx, would be negatively affected.

The airport has sent letters to the congressional delegation seeking support in averting the impact of sequestration, Brienza said.

"We obviously want to preserve our air traffic control tower and the safety and security that comes with having them on site," he said.

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