Congrats to east Texas for largely dodging a bullet in the recent decision by the F-A-A to discontinue funding some airport control towers.
The East Texas Regional Airport in Longview made the decision of no changes in funding and became the only airport in this part of the state to maintain funding status. Tyler Pounds Regional Airport was a casualty with the federal funding issue but it appears that the City of Tyler will continue to fund tower operations resulting in no loss of jobs or services.
These airports are critical to the economic success of the cities of Tyler and Longview and while many east Texans may not use the airports personally, hundreds of thousands – yes hundreds of thousands of commercial passengers pass through these airports every year. So this funding affects only a half dozen jobs in Tyler but the practical and emotional impact is indeed great.
So kudos to the City of Tyler for searching and apparently finding a solution to the funding and congrats to East Texas Regional Airport for being recognized as being vital to the national interest and retaining funding.
Now, if Congress and the President can find common ground on permanent spending cuts that streamline our government, this issue will go way, for now. The money and energy spent on executing expense cuts such as airport control towers is distracting and distressing and a compromise at the government level will make it a Better East Texas.