Airport director sees no impact on passengers

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The tower at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern is shown. The four controllers who work in the tower will soon lose their jobs as cuts from sequestration take effect.

Chuck Beckley/Halifax Media
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:15 AM.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport’s is expected to lose its four air traffic control tower workers as cuts from sequestration take effect.

However, Airport Director Tom Braaten said passengers won’t notice any changes.

“The passenger should see no change,” Braaten said. “They don’t talk on the radio. I don’t know yet what other cuts the FAA will make within their big system but from our perspective, it should not slow them down at all.”

Braaten said he received word late Tuesday that the New Bern airport would be one of 189 Federal Aviation Administration contract towers that could lose funding. He said no date was given, and the airport could appeal the decision.

“But we would have to show that closing it would adversely affect the national interest and I don’t know if we can do that,” said Braaten, a former Cherry Point commanding general.

The FAA targeted the contract towers at airports with fewer than 10,000 takeoffs and landings. Coastal Carolina Regional Airport had about 8,300 last year.

Braaten said the earliest date of closure would be April 7 because the airport would be required to notify Robinson Aviation, which has the contract for air traffic control at the airport.

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