Closing of Bloomington airport tower delayed
BLOOMINGTON — The air traffic control tower at Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington will remain open longer than previously thought.
Officials at the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority received word Friday afternoon that the Federal Aviation Administration will delay the closure of the air traffic control tower in Bloomington until June 15.
Previously, funding for the tower at Central Illinois Regional Airport had been scheduled to end on May 5.
"We are pleased that the FAA has chosen to delay this action," Carl Olson, executive director of the Central Illinois Regional Airport, said in a release. "We are not suggesting the federal government shouldn't reduce spending, but it needs to be done in a careful, thoughtful and equitable manner while adhering to their own federal statute and policies."
Olson said the airport authority will continue to work to keep the air traffic control tower open, including possible legal action against the FAA's decision to eliminate funding for air traffic control services at Central Illinois Regional Airport and seeking alternative funding for those services.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, praised the FAA's decision.
"I'm pleased with the FAA's decision to delay these closures in order to gather more information," Davis said. "It is my hope this information will reveal the economic importance of airports in areas like Decatur, Bloomington and Bethalto and will lead to their towers remaining open.
"It has been my belief all along that the FAA should look at other areas within their budget where taxpayer dollars can be saved before they resort to closing critical transportation hubs across the U.S. I hope they take this time to go line by line through their budget to cut waste."