FAA confirms 5 Georgia airports will close towers - CBS46 News

FAA confirms 5 Georgia airports will close towers

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The Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that five airports in Georgia will have to close their air traffic control towers beginning April 7.

Three of the airports are in Metro Atlanta including Briscoe Field in Gwinnett County.

It's one way the FAA is dealing with sequestration cuts.

On Saturday CBS Atlanta News talked to Jimmy Norton about the tower closing.

Norton is a pilot and he runs Air Harbor at Briscoe Field.

"It's another set of eyes. There's always best to have a second set of eyes," said Norton. "It's one of the travesties of sequestration. We need this facility to remain open."

The days are now numbered for having that second set of eyes on site as airplanes come and go from Briscoe Field.

The airport will have to rely on air traffic help from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

McCollum Field in Cobb County and Ben Epps in Athens will also have to close their towers.

The FAA has to cut $637 million from the budget. The agency will close 149 federal contract towers across the country.

Norton told CBS Atlanta News he will miss the added level of safety that comes with an operating tower, but it's not his only concern.

"There's a significant possibility that there will be fewer based aircraft or there might be some people who would not locate here because we don't have a tower," said Norton.

Norton hopes the cuts won't be permanent.

We're told when cuts kick in during the second week of April, Briscoe will start to phase out tower operations over about a four-week period.

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