Concord airport control tower will close due to budget cuts

Concord airport control tower will close due to budget cuts

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by WCNC.com Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 6:30 PM

CONCORD, N.C. -- The City of Concord received notification from the FAA that the contract tower program at Concord Regional Airport will be discontinued due to the federal budget cuts.

Concord was one of two airports in the region that was on a FAA list of 250 airports where towers could be closed when the sequestration went through last Friday.

The other airport tower is in Hickory.

The Concord airport will remain open, but without the tower operation.

Smaller planes will still be able to land at the airport, but larger charter jets will have to land somewhere else.  This could cause problems for many NASCAR teams that are based in the area and use the airport.

"That would affect their operations, too, having to relocate somewhere else due to operational restrictions," said Airport Director Rick Cloutier.

In 2102, Concord Regional had a total of 59,811 operations with 3,959 of those being commercial operations. 

The most recent statistics from 2011 show those commercial flights had 10,961 passengers.  Concord Regional is part of the 10th busiest airspace in the county.

"Electrolux came to Charlotte and uses our airport.  It was a big recruiting tool that they use and other companies use which benefit this region," said Scott Padgett.

Airport officials said they're considering other options to keep the tower open on a short term basis without FAA support.

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