Air Traffic Control Towers

iflyboise.com

City officials will cut the ribbon this week on the new control tower at the Boise airport. The tower is 268 feet tall, right in between the height of Idaho’s two tallest buildings in downtown Boise. The $30 million facility actually started full operations last month, about five years after construction began.

The White House says President Obama will sign a fast-tracked Congressional bill to end the furloughs of air traffic controllers. Operators of smaller Northwest airports hope the measure also stops the planned closure of their control towers.

As of now, more than a dozen of the less busy airport control towers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho remain on a list to be deactivated in early June. They're potential casualties of across-the-board federal budget cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Some Northwest cities and counties are exploring whether to use local or private money to keep their airport control towers open. By mid-June, the federal government plans to close the control towers at 13 small to medium sized airports across the region.

Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr Creative Commons

Airports in Hailey and Pocatello will close their air traffic control towers on May 5. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County and Idaho Falls Regional Airports are also set to close sometime after April 7.