MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Middle Georgia Regional Airport has one of five air control towers in Georgia expected to close this month. 41 NBC spoke with Air Traffic Manager Walt Alexander about the pending closures and what he and his staff will do.
Alexander, who's been at his position for 22 years, talked about what the pending closure means for him and what he might eventually do if the tower doesn't stay open.
"I really don't know, I just don't know" Alexander said. "Right now I may plan on going into early retirement, I just don't know."
41 NBC made calls into the Southern region office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Officials did not want to comment on the issue, but they did email a news release about the pending closures and announced that it will keep any of the towers open if doing so would "be in the national interest"
The release went on to describe what the FAA considers as national interest, its first priority is "significant threats to national security," the second "significant, adverse economic impact that is beyond the impact on a local community."
Alexander says the pending closures have cause employees to look for work in other places but some may have the opportunity to continue their jobs.
"There's a possibility that we could go to the towers that may not be affected by Sequestration, so there's that possibility as well."
Middle Georgia Regional Airport Manager Doug Faour agrees with Alexander saying that "while managing an airport is do-able, having a tower at the airport adds an additional layer of safety."
The tower is expected to close on April 21.