The Federal Aviation Administration says it will close eight air traffic towers at small airports around Wisconsin because of federal budget cuts. The agency announced the decision Friday, a month after it released a preliminary list of facilities that could be closed. The Wisconsin airports include Eau Claire and La Crosse.
Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind of La Crosse says he is disappointed about the decision.
Kind notes that the La Crosse Municipal Airport serves as the primary airport for Fort McCoy's military traffic, and also functions as a training facility for Volk Field. Kind says closing of the Federal Contract Tower in La Crosse will interfere with personnel transportation and training capacities, ultimately affecting national security.
The closures won't stop commercial flights, pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers, which they've been trained to do.