Spirit: Flights will go on even if tower closes at Palmer airport
Spirit Airlines Inc. said Thursday it plans to operate its normal schedule of flights at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity, even if the control tower would close because of $85 billion in federal budget cuts that will take effect if President Obama and Congress do not reach a deal on Friday.
“While we wait to see the full impact, if any, of government spending cuts, which may close certain air traffic control towers, Spirit is planning to operate a normal schedule at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport,” Spirit said in a statement.
Spirit operates flights between Arnold Palmer Regional and Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Orlando and Fort. Lauderdale, Fla.
The Federal Aviation Administration said last week that if the control tower at Arnold Palmer Regional would close because of a sequestration of federal funds, Pittsburgh International Airport would handle air traffic control services.
The airport authority has safety procedures in place to operate the airport without a control tower, said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which manages the airport. The control tower operates from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., but the airport remains open for flights when the tower is closed, Monzo said.
Spirit is authorized by the FAA to operate at Arnold Palmer Regional when the control tower is closed, the Florida-based airline said.
“The airline follows FAA-approved procedures to ensure safe operations without a control tower,” Spirit said.
An FAA spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, said she did not know when the control tower would be closed in the event of a sequestration. She said she could not provide “airport-specific information” about potential closures of facilities.
Five employees hired by Midwest Air Traffic Control Services Inc. of Overland, Kan., for air traffic control services at Arnold Palmer Regional would be affected by the closing. A spokesman for Midwest said the company may not learn until next week when a closing could occur.
The airport has fielded calls from concerned passengers, Monzo said.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- East Huntingdon man dies following police chase
- Police: Westmoreland woman forged painkiller prescriptions
- Search for pilot of ultralight aircraft to resume Thursday
- Westmoreland historical society honors efforts by Scaife, Fagan, Norwin group
- Scottdale’s Friends of the Library will meet tonight
- Knife-wielding man attacks 2 in Sheetz lot in Greensburg
- Police: Jeannette woman tried to steal family’s safe
- Police: Charges unwarranted for Yough shop class project
- Groups sponsor candidates forum in Monessen
- Youngwood Council to pick solicitor from ‘good mix’
- Ex-clerk convicted of stealing more than $116K from WCCC avoids jail