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FAA Closes Waukesha County Airport Traffic Control Tower

The Waukesha County traffic control tower is one of 149 towers being shut down across the nation. A total of eight towers are being shut down in Wisconsin.

The Waukesha County Airport/Crites Field traffic control tower is being shut down, along with 148 other towers across the country due to federal budget cuts.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced the closures on Friday. Other Wisconsin airport towers that are being shut down include La Crosse, Janesville, Oshkosh, Milwaukee (Timmerman), Kenosha, Eau Claire and Mosinee.

Waukesha is the third busiest airport in Wisconsin. Airport General Manager Kurt Stanich told Waukesha Now the airport has 60,000 takeoffs and landings a year, adding the cuts are “unnecessary.

Waukesha County Supervisor Michael Crowley believes that closing of the "tower could jeopardize aviation safety and efficiency for the 200 aircraft based at Waukesha County Airport, which conduct 55,000 takeoffs and landings each year."

The FAA told Waukesha County Airport they are choosing to close airport towers based on the degree to which the air traffic control tower affects the “national interest,” reported General Aviation News.

The FAA will continue to fund Wisconsin airports that have commercial airline traffic.

“The bottom line is Contract Towers are safer and save money," said Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, in a release. "The FAA must reevaluate its decision, and the White House must put an end to its political charade. On March 14, several of my colleagues and I sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta questioning these closures despite considerable wasteful spending at FAA.  I intend to send a follow-up letter inquiring how much taxpayer money is being spent on the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program."

red March 25, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Many airports have towers that are not staffed. The pilots revert to visual flight rules. This is the administration calling out the boogeyman and the media playing along. Timmerman in Milwaukee - Really? I would never guessed that it was staffed. How many flights a day?
Annie Nominous March 25, 2013 at 07:14 AM
red - Go park your car by this airport and observe...you may be surprised! It is a busy airport relative to its size. Remember...future pilots have to begin training somewhere and it is not Mitchell or O'Hare or La Guardia, etc..
Dirk Gutzmiller March 26, 2013 at 03:25 PM
@red - Oh get off it, get real, you are cherrypicking news stories and acting out as a bad information voter. If anyone turns the radio, and randomly spins the dial, particularly AM, they can listen to any number of ultraconservative radio jabberers, promoting hatred, bigotry, fear and dehumanization. Key modern practitioners include and have included Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to name a few, and there are many more. They have a license to attack a specific group of people on the public airways without permitting any opportunity for opposing views on the same show or even station. (Unfair and unbalanced in every way.) And this is not counting most of the "Christian" stations where I have learned that Jesus was ultraconservative politically and supported the moneychangers. And that is just ultraconservative radio. If space allowed, I could go into TV, the internet and print media. But moderates and liberals are not trying to promote laws to restrict free speech in the media like you. So get off it red. Your conspiracy theory is apparently a paranoid delusion. You are stuck in the past and reading issues off some Republican issues list from way back,. You would be scary if you were not so irrelevant in these modern times.
Dirk Gutzmiller March 26, 2013 at 03:45 PM
Strange bedfellows indeed. Annie Nominous and the Teamsters Union. Just goes to show, a Tea Partier will go to great lengths and jump chasms to get or preserve government funding for their own perks and entitlements.
Annie Nominous March 26, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Dirk - you are the one person posting on this story that actually has enjoyed the "perks" of corporate jet travel, yet you name-call and accuse falsely because you have no valid points to counter the truth of the matter. Enjoy your socialist utopia that is encroaching this country by the day. I have no connection to Crites Field and its "perks," but I do care about the local economy, and now even more highly trained, technical employees, and other support jobs, will be getting cut due to the planned closure of the Crites Field tower. Additionally, local companies could possibly relocate (out-of-state) if local transportation is not optimal...it is called running a business and making a profit to pay the employees, Dirk. (GE Medical, Quad Graphics, Johnson Controls, Northwestern Mutual, Manpower, Kohl’s Corp., Harley-Davidson, Rockwell Automation and Fiserv, Inc., etc.)

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