Battle Creek reaches deal to save W.K. Kellogg control tower
Updated: Wednesday, April 3 2013, 10:54 PM EDT
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The air traffic control tower at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek will remain open, saving the jobs of at least seven air traffic controllers, by entering into a non-federal contract with a private service provider.
Nearly 200 federal air traffic and contract towers will no longer receive government funding because of the sequestration, a series of across the board spending cuts which took effect in March.
The tower at the W.K. Kellogg Airport was on the list, leaving city leaders like Transportation Director Larry Bowron shaking his head.
Bowron says he thought they had a good case for staying open, as the tower is home to the Air National Guard and Western Michigan University's College of Aviation.
Money to keep the tower open would come from the area tax increment finance authority, and the contract with Midwest Air Traffic Control is expected to last six months, and cost around $189,000.
First, the plan needs to be given the go-ahead by the City Commission.
The federal government's new fiscal year begins in October, so there's hope that all or most of the funding could be restored then.