EAST ALTON, Ill. (KMOX) – 1,269. That’s the number of times the military has used St. Louis Regional Airport in the last six months. Airport Director Dave Miller hopes that alone is enough to keep their funding in place and their tower open.
St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto is one of nine Illinois airports that is having their air traffic control towers shut down due to budget cuts brought on by the sequester.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a letter that any review of proposed cuts would only be based on national interests.
“They are not interested in hearing anything about safety, or anything about how it impacts the local economy,” said Miller. “There’s a lot of military training that goes on here, even from Scott Air Force Base because of the different approaches we have.”
The FAA was to make a decision Monday on the final list, but is reportedly putting that off until tomorrow because of the large number of reviews they’ve received.
“You look at the other four salient airports in the Metro area and they’re pretty much all lined up against each other, against the prevailing winds.,” Miller explained. “On the other hand, this airport has a tangent line of flight.”