FAA to decide March 18 whether to close LAL tower

The air traffic control tower at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, home to the SUN ’n FUN Fly-In, may close April 7 because of automatic federal budget cuts due to the sequestration. According to a report in the Lakeland Ledger, a decision on whether to close the air traffic control tower will be made March 18. Airport officials have until March 13 to tell the FAA why the tower should remain open. If it is closed, SUN ’n FUN officials have already said they will hire air traffic controllers to man the tower during this year’s show, slated for April 9-14.


  1. Ray Klein says

    I’m seeing private controllers as a viable option. We as pilots put safety as first priority, the FAA? Not so much. Why not hire our own people? We’ve got to get out of this government headlock.

  2. says

    I agree with Roy; the FAA is so transparent. They seem to have targeted many of their potential tower closures simply to fire us up to contact our representatives in Congress and “inspire” them to solve this sequester headache. The suggestion for municipalities to hire their own independent controllers may provide a good solution.

  3. says

    Very simply, if the FAA decides to close the tower before Sun ‘n Fun this year, then it kind of proves that aviation safety really isn’t their primary concern. It is a shame that it is politics first, money second, and that safety, their own staff, and the flying public are way down on the priority list.

    Or should we maybe cut that function (and budget) from the agency altogether and let each municipality hire their own controllers?

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