Milwaukee airport's control tower could lose staff

Other Wis. towers could close

Published On: Mar 08 2013 01:19:04 PM CST
Airline airplane
MILWAUKEE -

Due to federal budget cuts, airport control towers could go dark overnight in Milwaukee or close altogether at eight regional Wisconsin airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration said overnight air-traffic control shifts could be eliminated at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport. The control towers could close outright at smaller airports in Eau Claire, Janesville, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Mosinee, Oshkosh and Waukesha.

Airport officials have until Wednesday to make their cases to be kept open. The FAA will issue a final closure list on March 18. The closures would begin about April 7, unless negotiations in Washington head off the cuts.

If the towers are unstaffed, pilots would have to coordinate takeoffs and landings themselves via radio and visual contact, as they do now at night when towers aren't open.