Control tower at Grand Strand Airport among those to close because of sequestration

dbryant@thesunnews.comMarch 22, 2013 

The air traffic control tower at Grand Strand Airport in North Myrtle Beach is one of nearly 150 towers across the country that will close because of sequestration, officials announced Friday, but the airport will continue to operate using other control towers.

The Grand Strand Airport, which caters to non-commercial flights, is among 149 federal contract towers that will begin closing April 7 as the Federal Aviation Administration cuts costs because of the automatic budget cuts that kicked in March 1.

Pilots will continue to fly in and out of Grand Strand Airport as usual but will contact a different control tower.

“Operations will continue as normal,” said Kirk Lovell, spokesman for Horry County Airports, which owns Grand Strand Airport and Myrtle Beach International Airport.

The FAA had previously said that closing up to 189 air traffic control towers was an option and released the final list Friday. Two other S.C. control towers also are planned to close, Donaldson Center in Greenville and Hilton Head Island.

“We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

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