Make us your home page
Instagram

FAA delays closure of air traffic control tower at St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport

St. Petersburg city officials were notified around 2 p.m. Friday that the air traffic control tower at Albert Whitted Airport would not close before June 15.

SCOTT KEELER | Times (2011)

St. Petersburg city officials were notified around 2 p.m. Friday that the air traffic control tower at Albert Whitted Airport would not close before June 15.

ST. PETERSBURG — Officials at Albert Whitted Airport got a reprieve Friday after the Federal Aviation Administration announced it was delaying the closure of 149 air traffic control towers around the country.

The closures, connected to cuts ordered under a process known as sequestration, were supposed to take place this month, some starting as soon as Sunday. Albert Whitted's tower was scheduled to close April 21.

But city officials were notified about 2 p.m. Friday that no FAA towers would close before June 15. The reason? After the closures were announced, some airports sued. "This additional time will allow the agency to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions," the FAA said in a statement.

Locally, pilots have balked at the idea that the busy downtown airport would be without air traffic controllers.

The city has not decided to participate in any of the lawsuits, but is monitoring them, according to Dave Metz, St. Petersburg's downtown facilities director.

The delay does not erase the uncertainly, however, Metz said.

If the Albert Whitted tower ultimately closes, at least seven people would lose their jobs.

FAA delays closure of air traffic control tower at St. Petersburg's Albert Whitted Airport 04/05/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 5, 2013 5:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]
  2. Drones restrictions coming at Tampa Bay area airports

    Airlines

    Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, according to a press release.

    In this February 2017 file photo, a drone flies in Hanworth Park in west London. Starting Sept. 1, Tampa International Airport officials will be enforcing new height restrictions for drones and other unmanned aircraft systems,
[John Stillwell/PA via AP, File]
  3. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  4. Superior Uniform Group reports $65.6 million in sales for second quarter

    Corporate

    SEMINOLE — Superior Uniform Group Inc. reported sales of $65.6 million in net sales for the second quarter, up a percentage point from the same quarter last year, the Seminole-based company reported Thursday.

    Superior Uniform Group Inc. saw a sales increase for the second quarter, the company reported Thursday. Pictured is Michael Benstock, CEO. | [Courtesy of Superior Uniform Group]
  5. Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Pasco County

    Autos

    DETROIT — Automaker Honda says a driver from Pasco County died in a crash earlier this month that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator.

    Honda says a driver near Tampa has died in a crash that involved an exploding Takata air bag inflator. 
[Associated Press]