FAA names Lynchburg airport on list of closures - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

FAA names Lynchburg airport on list of closures

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LYNCHBURG -

Updated: 10:03 p.m.

At a time when things are taking off at the Lynchburg Regional Airport, closing the control tower comes at a horrible time says manager Mark Courtney.  

"Threatens of airports like our and the potential for attracting a second airline and long term basis the existence of scheduled airline service," says Courtney. 

Commercial airlines, private planes and Liberty University's aeronautics school will feel the impacts. David Young the Dean for the school says they are working together with the airport since their students use it every day. 

"Our primary concern is safety and that is what we are working towards, not only training our students but making sure it is a safe environment," says Young. 

Starting April 7th, control towers will turn off the lights. Lynchburg still waits for their official date and prepares for the impacts. 

"Slower handling of traffic, more delays," says Courtney. 

Courtney says procedures are in place already to operate without a tower. They will also work together with Roanoke Regional Airport with their radar system. But working with another tower will cause you some problems. The delay in handling air traffic means more time on the tarmac, but it won't be hours. 

"Knowing our system our system here our air traffic volume and the way the system works I don't expect delays anything close to that," says Courtney.

In the meantime, Lynchburg hopes to come up with a plan and find alternative sources of money to reopen the control tower, and bring everything back up to speed.

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Lynchburg Regional airport is one of 149 airports closed as a result of Federal budget cuts. It's the only Virginia airport on the list. The airport did not immediately return calls for comment. Greenbrier Valley Airport in West Virginia will also be closed.

Liberty University uses the Lynchburg airport extensively, and is working on a plan to make sure it's air travel needs aren't impacted.

Click this link for a complete list of closures:

http://www.faa.gov/news/media/fct_closed.pdf