Federal budget cuts jeopardizing control tower at Gabreski Airport

The airport currently employs seven controllers, but a complete shutdown could come as early as this Friday.

The airport currently employs seven controllers, but a complete shutdown could come as early as this Friday. (3/20/13)

WESTHAMPTON - A Suffolk County airport is at risk of losing all of its air traffic controllers to federal budget cuts.

Sequestration has led the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fire employees at Gabreski Airport, located in Westhampton, as well as several other small airports across the nation. The airport currently employs seven controllers, but a complete shutdown could come as early as this Friday. 

Airport manager Anthony Ceglio says he is baffled by the announcement, especially since the facility is the 11th busiest in the state. "Taking a tower out of Gabreski Airport is like removing a traffic light at a busy intersection," he says.

The Senate is working on a budget extension into September, but it does not apply to air traffic control towers.
 

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