As reported in the Baltimore Sun, five air traffic control towers in Maryland that had been scheduled to shut down in June as a result of federal budget cuts are now expected to remain open via recent Congressional action leaving $30 million available for towers at 149 small airports nationwide. One of the lucky towers would be Frederick’s Municipal Airport tower, which had become a cause célèbre of the federal aviation administration cuts.
The possibility of the Frederick tower’s closing drew national attention, because it opened less than a year ago, after being built with federal stimulus money. The other Maryland airport towers that had been slated to close were Hagerstown Regional in Western Maryland and Easton/Newnam Field and Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional on the Eastern Shore.
Together, the five airports handled 342,441 commercial and private flights last year. Their towers are staffed by controllers who are under contract with the Federal Aviation Administration.